"Criminals...Nous? How dare you!"
By Tom Eley 28 November 2008
"Balzac’s maxim that “behind every great fortune lies a great crime” may yet prove a fitting epitaph for American capitalism. A recent survey by the Wall Street Journal reveals that CEOs at major US financial and real estate firms converted tens of millions of dollars of overvalued stock into cash prior to the eruption of the current financial crisis, even as many of their corporations approached the precipice.
"The Journal analyzed the fortunes of CEOs from 2003 to 2007 based on executive compensation and stock sale data. Fifteen of these CEOs took home more than $100 million in cash during this period. At the high end was Charles Schwab, who made over $816 million from his self-named accounting firm, almost all of it from stock sales.
"Of the 120 publicly traded firms the Journal analyzed, CEOs cashed out a total of more than $21 billion. However, data was gathered only from publicly traded companies, and thus does not include similar fortunes that have been made by “hedge fund chiefs, Wall Street traders, and executives who sold their companies outright.” Nor did it include data related to exit packages, the multimillion-dollar “golden parachutes” awarded to retiring or fired executives.
"The Journal’s findings underscore the parasitism and criminality of the
What puzzles me is how Westpac, paying 100s of millions of dollars in a settlement over tax evasion with the IRD (along with the other big Aussie banks) can continue to be the Government's bank. Anyone else would be in goal... Cheers Richard. Thanks for that,
Wasn’t Key one of them? And it’s worth noting that none of the Westpac bosses ended up in court, or were changed, yet someone caught shoplifting can get jail…or community service. One law for all…’believe that, and you believe in the tooth fairy.