To the editor:
I have been reading about the astounding remuneration “earned” by executives of banking and other financial institutions, many of which received bailout money from us. The extravagance brings to mind that of the French royalty before the revolution. Eighty-three million dollars for the head of Merrill Lynch in a year when the company lost $7.8 billion. The Bank of New York Mellon Corp. paid almost $180,000 for a car and driver for its CEO. Sixty-eight million dollars in stock options for the new head of Merrill Lynch, which received $10 billion in bailout money.
I don’t necessarily advocate the guillotine for the obscenely rich, but something should have been cut, their compensation at least. In their rush to save the country from financial ruin, our representatives did not place rational restrictions on compensation for the executives who led their companies and the rest of us into this mess.
We appear to be in the midst of a needed transition from a credit culture to one of actually paying for goods and services, and there will be a realignment of standard of living with actual income. It is time also for stockholders, workers and other citizens to demand a realignment of the incredible disparity between the income of business executives and that of the other 99 percent of employees.
Greed and immediate gratification have been the prime values of too many people in recent years. It’s time for change. For starters, our representatives should demand better limits on compensation for bailed-out executives.