• 30 Jan 2009 at 5:55 PM

No More Than The President Of The United States

On further reflection, we aren’t so opposed to “fairing up” executive compensation to be more in line with our national executive. Senator Claire McCaskill might be on to something here.
Let’s see here…
Cash Compensation:
Salary: $400,000
Cash Subtotal: $400,000
Room and Board:
55,000 square foot mansion, in historic Washington, D.C.: @ $100/sqft: $5,500,000/yr
Personal Chef / Kitchen Staff: $300,000 / year
Other Servants / Attendants: $500,000 / year
Subtotal: $6,300,000
Discretionary Use Of Private Aircraft:
(One of 2 Boeing 747-200Bs “Air Force One”):
Annual Costs: 120 hours @ $65,000/hr: $7,800,000
Annual Costs: 700 hours @ $65,000/hr: $45,500,000
Helicopter Fleet:
Annual Costs: 50 hours @ $5200/hr: $260,000
Aircraft Subtotal: $8,060,000
Aircraft Subtotal: $45,760,000
Other Personnel:
Personal Driver On Retainer (Defensive Tactical Driving Trained) @ $300/day $109,500
Personal Body Guards 35 @ $500/day $6,387,500
Use Of Personal Car 60 days @ $2000/day $120,000
Personnel Subtotal: $6,617,000
Annual Benefits Total: $59,077,000
Four Years of Same: $236,308,000
Pension And Related Benefits:
Present value of Pension Benefits ($200,000 per year): $2,251,556
Total Benefits: $238,559,556
Average Annual Benefits: $59,639,889
Also, think we need to strongly consider “pay for performance” here. This is a lot of compensation and I think clawbacks if the executive fails to pull us out of this recession are called for. I propose we institute a temporary “efficiency in government court” empowered to enforce pay for performance in the executive branch. The time to reward these employees for non-performance is over. Some accountability needs to be put in place. We won’t have them kicking sand in the face of taxpayers any longer.

205 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (205)

  1. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 5:59 PM

    No perks for bad bankers.
    Either give the bail out money back and go bankrupt or STFU.
    Live by the free market die by the free market.

  2. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 5:59 PM

    and from community organizer to ex-president on the speaking circuit – priceless (well maybe not priceless but you know…)

  3. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 6:00 PM

    Well played, EP. LFMAO

  4. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 6:01 PM

    Nice try but no cig.

  5. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 6:04 PM

    good one EP!
    4 – enjoying your last days of internets privilege?
    JACK

  6. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 6:05 PM

    living in most democraticd country in the world – priceless
    you mofos got so much democracy you dont know where to export it

  7. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 6:07 PM

    Personal theater with unlimited access to every form of digital programming known to man
    Personal Bowling alley (soon to be BB court?)
    Highly secured Blackberry approved by the NSA

  8. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 6:09 PM

    This proves nothing. He is the president presiding over way more than any wall street fat cat ever will – hopefully.
    Do you think that Vik, Thain, Lewis, et al. deserve all the perks they can get their hands on?
    8 years of the same perks for Bush baby and see where that has gotten us.
    These warts should have been allowed to die, just like Lehman. Someone else would have moved in to fill the vacuum.

  9. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 6:09 PM

    Too democrat, didn’t cringe…

  10. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 6:12 PM

    PE, this is pure genius. Capping comp at the Prez’s annual salary is so arbitrary. What’s the basis for McCaskill’s proposal, aside from posing as an ignorant populist?

  11. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 6:15 PM

    USA, USA, USA
    ” RNC elects its first African-American leader ”
    Yes we can!

  12. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 6:16 PM

    Wall Street annual executive salary should be capped @ 0.
    That’s about what their services are worth now if we are being generous.
    In fact they are draining money from tax payers.
    So really rhe value of their services is worth less than zero.

  13. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 6:17 PM

    Wall Street annual executive salary should be capped @ 0.
    That’s about what their services are worth now if we are being generous.
    In fact they are draining money from tax payers.
    So really the value of their services is worth less than zero.

  14. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 6:17 PM

    @10
    i think the basis for the proposal is fairly straightforward: if you borrow money from taxpayers, you don’t get bonused as if you weren’t borrowing money from taxpayers.
    got any more brain-busters there, homie?

  15. Posted by Lowly Assistant | January 30, 2009 at 6:20 PM

    Too pragmatic, public didn’t buy it.

  16. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 6:21 PM

    They’re also creating jobs that didn’t exist before. They hired a reality TV star who posed in Maxim for a job working for a deputy chief of staff with an office in the WH and a high salary. She doesn’t have any experience in politics and has only been an “intern” for the campaign for a few months.
    At least they’re showing fiscal responsibility!

  17. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 6:26 PM

    EP, you have definitely been on a roll lately.

  18. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 6:28 PM

    @14, the government is a preferred stockholder in these banks. Preferred stockholders do not and should not dictate compensation. Second, the use of the term “bonus” here is a misnomer. It’s deferred compensation. Third, I was making a point that the $400k limit is arbitrary. You did not address that point. Finally, I’m not your homie, buddy.

  19. Posted by BSD | January 30, 2009 at 6:35 PM

    EP – one of the best posts yet. Perfect.
    Just one question – where can I get a tactical defense driving trained armed driver for just $300/day? That is much better than the ~$2000/day I paid when I needed one in Russia.

  20. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 6:36 PM

    The proposed cap was on salaries, not perks. Right?
    Remember, companies that are heavily regulated tend to offer executives lower salaries but exorbitant perks. Or at least they used to. (They probably now offer exorbitant salaries and exorbitant perks).

  21. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 6:37 PM

    Why only the President, the Congress too should bear the burden

  22. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 6:39 PM

    You really underestimated the cost of the presidential aircraft…Air Force One generally flies between 750-800 hours (A single trip to Asia can put 40-50 hours on the plane)…An exact duplicate B747 constantly travels with the president at all times so that in the event of a mechanical problem he may continue on his trip. 65K an hour is a little low considering there are over 50 full paid air force crew assigned to the plane for any given mission. I would say closer to 80K per flight hour. That would put the cost for 800 hours at 64 million and change…Oh yeah multiplied by two considering there is a shadow 747 with them at all times…128 million a year fellas, The taxpayer doesn’t even get a kiss.

  23. Posted by Equity Private | January 30, 2009 at 6:39 PM

    “The proposed cap was on salaries, not perks. Right?”
    Wrong. All comp including bonuses and options. And if you think they were going to let private planes, free meals and paid housing in there, well, you have something coming.

  24. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 6:47 PM

    @10, @18:
    This is the definition of “deferred
    compensation”:
    An arrangement in which a portion of an employee’s income is paid out at a date after which that income is actually earned. Examples of deferred compensation include pensions, retirement plans, and stock options. The primary benefit of most deferred compensation is the deferral of tax.
    Every one else seems to understand this distinction except for you.
    These are bonuses not deferred compensation.

  25. Posted by Equity Private | January 30, 2009 at 6:48 PM

    “That would put the cost for 800 hours at 64 million and change…Oh yeah multiplied by two considering there is a shadow 747 with them at all times…128 million a year fellas, The taxpayer doesn’t even get a kiss.”
    I put in the one plane only, left it at $65,000 and threw in 700 hours.

  26. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 6:49 PM

    @23
    Perks include most of the items that EP listed for the President. It’s not direct compensation to the individual, like salary, bonus and options. Are the senators proposing to ban the perks? I haven’t seen that. Show me the legislation before I can comment further.
    @20

  27. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 6:49 PM

    My favorite DB post YTD

  28. Posted by Equity Private | January 30, 2009 at 6:52 PM

    “Perks include most of the items that EP listed for the President. It’s not direct compensation to the individual, like salary, bonus and options. Are the senators proposing to ban the perks? I haven’t seen that. Show me the legislation before I can comment further.”
    I think the planes have been taken care of. Also the offices. Not much left.

  29. Posted by Equity Private | January 30, 2009 at 6:55 PM

    “McCaskill’s Cap Executive Officer Pay Act would ban any director, executive or other employee of a company receiving bailout funds from receiving more than $400,000 a year in total compensation, including salary, bonuses and retirement contributions.”
    It’s total comp. Period. Now let’s move on.

  30. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 6:55 PM

    Too logical, public confused

  31. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 6:56 PM

    The difference is the President is accountable to the voters.
    If he doesn’t perform well he gets voted out.
    The executives of many of the banks ran the banks into the ground and now expect the public to bail them out.
    I ask where is the accountability?
    Why should people who ran their business into the ground and then get their business bailed out by the public expect to be paid well for it?

  32. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 7:00 PM

    EP, I think you should add in the cost of running all other planes in the US arsenal. They are, after all, available to the president to do as he wishes.
    Dibs on total comp of $450bn/pa

  33. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 7:01 PM

    The banks didn’t run their business into the ground, it was the chumps who didn’t pay their mortgages who ran the banks business into the ground.

  34. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 7:07 PM

    @33 Bullshit.
    Prove it.
    They ran their businesses poorly. Period.
    They should not be getting one red cent from the taxpayers.
    Their are plenty of banks in the US that did not have loose lending practices.
    They are still healthy concerns.
    I say let the free market decide the fate of these corporations.
    If they made poor business decisions and lent their money in unwise ways they deserve to go bankrupt and for their compensation to go to 0.

  35. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 7:08 PM

    Sweet post!

  36. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 7:09 PM

    @18 The rights of preferred holders are set forth in the charter, so depending on the voting provisions found therein preferred holders could dictate executive comp by proxy via directors voted to the board.
    legal bitch

  37. Posted by Equity Private | January 30, 2009 at 7:14 PM

    “The difference is the President is accountable to the voters.
    If he doesn’t perform well he gets voted out.”
    Same with the bankers. Next.

  38. Posted by hedgehog | January 30, 2009 at 7:17 PM

    “I propose we institute a temporary “efficiency in government court” empowered to enforce pay for performance in the executive branch.”
    HAHAHAHAHHA! Brilliant.

  39. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 7:19 PM

    EP
    “Same with the bankers. Next.”
    This is a lie and you know it EP.
    You can’t tell me that Citibank has performed well in the past year. Or Bank of America, etc…
    Lewis and Pandit are still CEO’s of failing corporations that are sucking money out of my pocket by the minute.
    I really cannot believe you are defending this madness EP.
    If you believe in free markets it’s a no-brainer.
    These companies should file for bankruptcy. Not taking tax payer money.

  40. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 7:23 PM

    When your preferred stockholder also holds your regulatory papers, you tend not to piss them off.
    Otherwise you get turned into Wachovia or worse, WaMu (sold while the board was on their jet).

  41. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 7:29 PM

    You forgot to mention making Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity crazy out of their minds! Put a cost on that! Priceless!!

  42. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 7:31 PM

    Maybe they didn’t do a bad job – maybe they did exactly what they planned to do.
    Some people have made millions in the last few years from commissions and fees, some of them made sure their compensation was mostly in cash instead of stock. They will find a way to get their toxic assets off their books and taxpayers will pay for it. They have already received billions from the bailout to pay bonuses and buy other companies. They’re about to get billions more. They just found a way to transfer trillions from taxpayers to the banks and all they have to do is get through a couple “difficult” years.
    I think they all did a very good job – if stealing money is your job.

  43. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 7:35 PM

    “Maybe they didn’t do a bad job – maybe they did exactly what they planned to do.”
    I hope they did not plan this. That would be atrocious.
    “I think they all did a very good job – if stealing money is your job.”
    If this is the case – the consequences will be dire.

  44. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 7:44 PM

    EP reminds me of a snide sophomore at the University of Chicago. Clever but fundamentally not that bright.

  45. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 7:45 PM

    The bankers are all out in NYC getting drunk out of their minds in some bordello surrounded by gold diggers. You won’t hear from any of them until Monday afternoon.

  46. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 7:45 PM

    If a firm did not make a profit, why does any one believe they should be paying a bonus? A bonus is a sharing of the corporate profit… No profit, no bonus.
    Simple concepts here… if you didn’t earn it, you don’t deserve it.
    If your firm is BK and needs a hand out to make payroll, there should have been zero bonus for every one at that firm.
    If you do the crime (loss money on Wall Street), you deserve to do the time (earn the bonus with profits).

  47. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 7:54 PM

    EP, awesome work. However, you have underestimated some costs. The helos out of HMX-1 cost way, way, way more than your typical executive fleet. Bear in mind that there are a couple dozen Marine majors and above and a hundred or so enlisted personnel at that unit, plus costs of maintaining about a dozen helicopters through the maintenance cycle. Their budget inclusive of payroll is easily north of $30 million/year.
    a Jarhead

  48. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 7:58 PM

    @29
    The proposed bill says:
    SEC. 4. COMPENSATION.
    19
    As used in this Act, the term ‘‘compensation’’ in-
    20
    cludes wages, salary, deferred compensation, retirement
    21
    contributions, options, bonuses, property, and any other
    22
    form of compensation or bonus that the Secretary of the
    23
    Treasury determines is appropriate.
    Have you seen the President’s tax returns? Where in there do you see most of the items that you list in your post, which are perks granted by the government to the Office of the President, not to the individual holding the position?
    Corporations also have executive perks granted to the executive positions, and not part of the individual’s compensation package and therefore you would not see them in the executive’s tax return. This proposed bill doesn’t cover perks.
    Anyone who has worked for a DJIA company knows what I’m talking about regarding perks (fringe benefits). Fringe benefits are not taxable unless it can be demonstrated that the executive received them in lieu of or in addition to regular taxable wages or if a particular fringe benefit was explicitly excluded from any taxation to the individual. For example, Dimon used the corporate jet to fly to Davos. The cost of the flight may not be part of his taxable compensation as the trip was made for business reasons. (Though only Dimon knows for sure what he’s doing there.)
    Here’s an article where you can find a link to Bush’s 2007 tax return so everybody can see what a President’s total compensation from the government job is. (Most of Bush’s income came from outside the government).
    Just trying to compare apples to apples:
    http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/04/11/bush.taxes/index.html

  49. Posted by Equity Private | January 30, 2009 at 8:07 PM

    “You can’t tell me that Citibank has performed well in the past year. Or Bank of America, etc…”
    That’s not the criteria. The criteria is there a mechanism for removal. Plenty of presidents sucked as much wind and got re-elected. Hold one to the same standard as the other.

  50. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 8:22 PM

    If you want to calculate it that way. Some of these Wall Street and corp. CEO people’s greed was not nearly satisfied with $60m a year, either, as you well know. Or twice that.

  51. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 8:27 PM

    EP
    “That’s not the criteria. The criteria is there a mechanism for removal. Plenty of presidents sucked as much wind and got re-elected. Hold one to the same standard as the other.”
    Dear EP,
    I understand your argument and it has validity.
    But let’s face it.
    We would not even be having this discussion if the banks did not get bailed out and continue to ask for taxpayer money in the first place.
    If the executives at banks want to be free of the yoke of governments dictating their compensation packages. They need to stop taking taxpayer money and whining when the politicians who supposedly represent the public’s interest propose salary caps.
    This is my main argument:
    Let the free market work.
    That is the ultimate mechanism for accountability and it has been interrupted by both government and the failing bank corporations.
    IF they are going to keep up the whine about about how bad they are doing and asking for more money from the taxpayer then they are not viable concerns.
    They should file for bankruptcy and receive 0 in perks and compensation. If they can avoid bankruptcy without taxpayer money then there would be nothing wrong in receiving decent compensation via salary, bonuses and perks.
    Problem is they are not turning their companies around – they are running them into the ground and they have no incentive to do otherwise.

  52. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 8:44 PM

    EP – great work. The hate mongers doth protest about anything and everything related to banker pay – but fear not my friends. Like all politically-motivated issues, this one too shall pass.

  53. Posted by Equity Private | January 30, 2009 at 8:44 PM

    “This is my main argument:
    Let the free market work.”
    With Paulson browbeating banks into taking public funds in order to avoid the appearance of vulnerability of any one bank, and with salary caps?
    Yep. Freedom, baby. Can you feel it?
    I am the last person to tell you that I am a fan of big IBs. I think the bailout is just beyond offensive, but this class warfare noise is getting out of hand.
    There is a mechanism to punish wrongdoing in a democracy. That’s the criminal justice system. Losses are not a crime. Indeed, there may be fraud to be uncovered somewhere in what Dick Fuld, for instance, did. I have no idea. Until you show it to me, however, the government needs to stay out of the punitive business.
    I want to vomit when I hear that Obama is a “Disappointed Parent.” That the naughty bankers have been misbehaving and now they need a spanking. That’s the kind of country you want to live in? Where is the Spanking for the last 5 executives at Fan and Fred? What about the outgoing SEC higher-ups? Are they not going to get their time behind the woodshed?
    Due process is there to avoid EXACTLY this result. Where political concerns become the means to enforce “justice” and “fairness.” That is the kind of bullshit that gets you $400,000 salary caps, and extrajudicial pressure to liquidate planes, break contractual bonus payments, etc. etc. etc.
    The government has PREFERRED stock. They have no business running day to day operations. If they wanted that, then they should have stated so up front, bought common in majority size and given everyone in the process transparency. They did not.
    This habit of letting government “punish” the latest popularity underclass is a dangerous one. Moreover, the arbitrary and capriciousness of picking the President’s salary (which wasn’t even particularly intelligent or thought out when we review the above) as a cap is a good sign that this is exactly the wrong mechanism for sentencing a group of “wrongdoers.”
    That people cannot see this only speaks to their rage, and the (probably justified) anger they feel with bankers. But that’s not due process. That’s mob rule.
    I’ll pass on that plan, thanks.

  54. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 8:50 PM

    Touche, EP. I was going to rail on you for coming up with the most inaccurate analogy you could have (what’s next, you include the secret service, his hair dresser, the CIA, and the maintenance cost of his nukes?) but then I realized you were just pandering to your ‘base.’
    Are you related to Pavlov, by chance?

  55. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 8:56 PM

    EP
    “With Paulson browbeating banks into taking public funds in order to avoid the appearance of vulnerability of any one bank, and with salary caps?
    Yep. Freedom, baby. Can you feel it?
    I am the last person to tell you that I am a fan of big IBs. I think the bailout is just beyond offensive, but this class warfare noise is getting out of hand.
    There is a mechanism to punish wrongdoing in a democracy.”
    1) There is a mechanism in capitalism and free markets to punish a failing concern.
    It is called bankruptcy.
    2) Herr Paulson had to twist congresses arm to get money for the bailout.
    3) I did not see one bank complaining about being forced to take money from the government.
    Anyhow, taunting bankers is becoming boring to me now.
    We will probably just have to agree to disagree about all of this in the end. We will just have to wait and see how it will turn out.
    BTW.. are you going to produce any more installments of the spiral?
    I loved the work you did there.

  56. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 8:59 PM

    lol ep. you not only managed to spit out a bunch of nonsense but you also managed to underestimate the cost by about 10 fold at a minimum. no wonder you’re ‘writing’ instead of actually dealing with money.
    fortunately your “eyeballs” are about as daft as you so it won’t impact your stellar career.

  57. Posted by Equity Private | January 30, 2009 at 9:02 PM

    Feel free to add corrections where warranted.

  58. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 9:03 PM

    Every major bank in this country would be out of business if Paulson had not given them money – nobody “made” them do anything.
    Where was the “due process” when people decided to transfer money from taxpayers to people at banks? If people at banks don’t want to adhere to any conditions they have a very simple solution.
    Give all the money they have received back to the government – then they can make their own decisions.

  59. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 9:03 PM

    While we are all fired up for making Wall Street pay for its mistakes, I suggest we treat everyone equally in the new socialist world order. That of course means applying for a job as a sheriff’s deputy as they will be busy evicting all those people unable to pay their mortgage. You know, the one they took out knowing they couldn’t afford it (and spare me the “they did not know what they were signing” argument. Trust me they knew, all the way to the car dealer, electronics store, travel agent, etc.)?
    Populist antagonism to Wall Street, although entertaining in a “isn’t sarcasm fun kind of way,” does not feel so good when applied to every other person who did not complain when they refinanced (at no cost I might add) to a lower monthly payment and additional cash out (it’s a birth right to get a flat screen and an Escalade, right?).
    So, while everyone demands blood and responsibility, let’s spread it around and make sure everyone take’s their share of responsibility.

  60. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 9:09 PM

    @14 I must ask, since when are bankers “not” tax payers? I paid six-figure in tax in 08, so don’t start with that.

  61. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 9:09 PM

    @59
    I have no qualms with that.
    I personally have no debt and I have positioned myself quite well financially knowing that the handwriting was on the wall.
    Lets allow the free market to really do what it’s meant to do.
    Bankrupt banks should file for bankruptcy and the executives of those banks should receive 0 additional compensation for their failure.
    Stop taxing me for their failure.
    If Obama fails then he will be voted out of office. Simple as that.

  62. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 9:09 PM

    too mathy – can’t add

  63. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 9:10 PM

    @61 I agree. Too bad Washington likes to pick the winners.

  64. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 9:11 PM

    There were many people who didn’t provide accurate information for loans and people who spent more than they could afford – but these people have not been trained to approve loans. They don’t work in the financial industry. It’s people at banks who have to be held responsible.
    Also those people aren’t getting money from taxpayers.

  65. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 9:12 PM

    Given the whole bank executive/POTUS parity thing, we need to start slotting CEOs to presidents. I’ll start:
    Ken Lewis: Either “W” or Andrew Johnson
    Jamie Dimon: Theodore Roosevelt
    Vikrim Pandit: Warren Harding
    John Mack: Ulysses S Grant
    Any others?

  66. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 9:14 PM

    LOL @ 65

  67. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 9:18 PM

    @64 Perhaps if the government did not mandate that all those evil banks generate so much paperwork for a loan, all those poor souls that could not do the math of “I bring home $3,000 per month, if my mortgage is $1,500 now and will be $4,000 five years from now, maybe I shouldn’t do this” would have seen one piece of paper that said just what I wrote.
    Owning a home is not a right. If you cannot do simple math or as an adult make simple financial decisions, then rent.
    Stop blaming what mortgage brokers and realize that most people knew exactly what they were doing.
    Which leads me to your other comment. You do not think people that took out “liar’s loans” got government assistance? How do you think the rates went so low? Which caused more people to buy. Which drove up home prices. Which allowed people to re-fi and start the process again?
    Talk to anyone in consumer banking and ask them how often their regulator would imply they were redlining to get them to loan more.
    You are right. “Those people” did not get a check, but they sure got payment in kind from taxpayers through our government.

  68. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 9:19 PM

    @65
    John Thain: Calvin Coolidge

  69. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 9:19 PM

    EP, don’t forget what a/c costs in Washington in the summer. And the phones, and internet and cable connections, and all the Potomac River water that flows through the White House pipes.
    The proposal to limit bonuses at $400K is nonsensical. But paying out hefty bonues to jerk bankers who mishandled their portflios is even worse. Reagan merely threatened to take David Stockman to the woodshed. Well, Obama should draw and, um, quarter about 2/3s of the U.S. financial community (BTW, I did NOT vote for the guy!) Or at least send them to “reducation camps”, Mao style. Preferably somewhere in southern Cuba. Permanently.

  70. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 9:32 PM

    Now you want to blame the CRA that was started when Carter was in office to encourage home ownership in less affluent neighborhood – but then why has this happened in the past few years? If it’s all because of legislation started by Carter then why didn’t we go through this when he was in office or when Clinton was in office?
    Some people at banks decided to securitize loans, get them off their books, the banks they sold them to combined them with good loans and sold them to investors all over the world and they made billions doing that and now they’re taking more money from us.

  71. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 9:38 PM

    @48 – is the President taxed on the value of the White House as a residence or the use of federal vehicles for personal travel?
    At what rate does he reimburse the Treasury for the personal benefits of federal employees (e.g., White House cooks and attendants)?
    Could Citibank provide housing to all Vice Presidents – as a perk of the position – and have it not be taxable to the VP?
    Also, EP, you left out the franking privilege. At 42c a stamp that can really add up.

  72. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 9:53 PM

    brilliant!

  73. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 9:59 PM

    @70 I am not laying this all at the feet of those irresponsible enough to take something that should not have been offered to them in the first place. I am only trying to point out that to blame all of this on Wall Street is a bit too convenient.
    For banks that take government money, they should abide by restrictions put upon them by virtue of taking that money. That is the price that bank pays.
    I do think perhaps the restrictions should be known up front. Not made up along the way to please crass populism whipped up by politicians who also bear responsibility.
    You see, many,many people are responsible, not just overpaid/underpaid/not paid Wall Street people.

  74. Posted by chernevik | January 30, 2009 at 10:00 PM

    You’ve left Camp David off the list. And the personnel are strictly security detail — I’d say he has at least one confidential assistant dedicated to his personal life. His wife also has a staff, security, car and travel benefits.
    They also have the use of Blair House for guests. The White House has a decorating budget. And I think he can call on any art in the National Archive for his office and residence.
    Etc.

  75. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 10:04 PM

    If his mother in law is a resident at the white house, will she need to pay taxes on the services she consumes?

  76. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 10:10 PM

    your loving 56 here.
    for starters, ep, the mccaskill proposal is a cap on bonuses, salaries, compensation, and retirement contributions. none of that has to do with “perks” of the office, such as a private driver, a fancy office, etc. hence you bringing up the president’s “perks” is irrelevant (not to mention many ceo perks are optional while many president perks are required due to security issues) since they are perks of “the office”, not the man.
    so that basically completely invalidates your entire post.
    however, if we’re talking money, in general, your estimates are low.
    your plane costs are roughly a normal 747 cost but the president’s plane is on a whole other level since it has about a billion secret additions and is specially maintained at great expense out of wichita. who knows, but to say it’s triple your quote is not unreasonable. plus there are something like 4 planes that are kept, some on full standby. plus the fighter pilot escorts, the AWACS and C&C planes, etc. not to mention the cost in mileage, maintenance, fuel, etc., from commercials planes that have to re-route when he flies. oh and don’t forget the tankers that have to stay afloat while he’s airborne, the extra costs with rerouting strategic air defense, etc.
    likewise, the helicopters are the same way. you don’t take 1 helicopter when you’re president, you take 3-6 so you have decoys. staff, fighter escorts, ground patrol, etc. etc, as well. plus the extra costs associated with additional security equipment on the helicopters which is beyond substantial.
    your estimate of bodyguards is low. first, they’re more expensive. second, they take multiple cars (all outfitted especially) and require local police support. third, for every 1 SS traveling with the president there are roughly 10 that have to do prep work, logistics, checking out places in advance, etc. etc. actually 1 for 10 is probably too low an estimate. and tack on the extra training costs for the drivers and bodyguards—those are not normal drivers/bodyguards.
    i could go on but suffice it to say the “perks”, if you wish to call them that, are probably far north of $1 billion/year.

  77. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 10:14 PM

    i’m sure the same people who bitch about “idiots not on wall street” commenting about finance issues will be happy to post about how much they know about politics and security—i have little doubt they’ll eat your ridiculous post right up.
    -56.

  78. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 10:31 PM

    EP – Your posts over the last week have made me a fan, especially on CDS as it becomes obvious how little so many people know about the market/product.
    In this case I think you overlooked the fact that when the president flies anywhere, there are usually several F-16s tagging along to make sure that the flight is uneventful as well as an AWACS in the sky to help in the effort. Maybe he should have to drive an experimental car when he travels in the US like the executives from Detroit did when they came back to DC the second time? At the end of day, regardless of party, isn’t the president always looking for bailout money from the taxpayers?
    – Fixed Income

  79. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 10:34 PM

    I can’t believe people on this site are engaging in class warfare. WTF.
    Everyone involved contributed to the downfall of the economy – ibankers, lenders, mortgage brokers, realtors, appraisors, home buyers, Greenspan, SEC, Fannie/Freddie, dipshit Frank, Congress in general, China. People are naturally drawn to blaming those who got rich in the process. Sure, the peasant who cheated on his mortgage forms got a nicer house than he would of, but it was the Wall Street guys that got millions – hence the outrage.
    Of course the masses tend to be irrational. I am just surprised that those who profited from the entire mess are coming across as the same.
    The government forced these banks to take TARP and also forced them to agree to allow the government to make conditions regarding executive compensation. This is beyond socialism. Russia comes to mind.
    After several years of absolutely no enforcement (and actually the opposite), the government now wants to crack down. No. What needs to be done is an orderly unwinding of the idiots who screwed up and kick them out. There’s ways to do that without capping pay and throwing good money after bad.
    Anyone want to take the under that we’re going to end up like Japan?

  80. Posted by Equity Private | January 30, 2009 at 10:42 PM

    “none of that has to do with “perks” of the office, such as a private driver, a fancy office, etc. hence you bringing up the president’s “perks” is irrelevant (not to mention many ceo perks are optional while many president perks are required due to security issues) since they are perks of “the office”, not the man.”
    Wrong. It’s “Total Comp INCLUDING” (but not limited to). Total comp.
    Let’s do that one more time:
    Total comp.
    Now, let’s move on before someone starts modifying the Wiki entry for Total Comp to rewrite the plain meaning.
    (I mean seriously, do you think these people are going to allow a $300,000 annual meal allowance? You are on narcotics).

  81. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 10:43 PM

    @71
    Excuse me, the Office of the President has a budget to pay the expenses of all its employees. Those are authorized by law and don’t constitute a taxable fringe benefit to the individual who happens to hold the position of President. EP has thrown in a false analogy and some of you brain surgeons ate it, hook, line and sinker. Though the real clever ones added things that EP forgot, just to ridicule his analogy. I especially liked adding the cost of running all other planes in the US arsenal.
    Now to Citibank, if Citibank provides housing to all VPs, then there’s a test that must pass an IRS audit:
    1. Is the housing fringe benefit excluded from taxation to the beneficiary by law or IRS regulation?
    2. Is the housing fringe benefit offered in lieu of or in addition to taxable wages?
    If 1 is NO and 2 is YES then the employee would need to report it as compensation, and would be included in their W2 as such.
    Enough of beating this dead horse.

  82. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 10:45 PM

    @79 Great suggestion. How does one engage in the orderly unwind of the damage created by the likes of Representative Frank, Senator Dodd, Senator Schumer, and many, many others? By voting them out of office, of course. Hard to do when all the “rich” people do not outnumber everyone else. You know, rich people, the 20% of the population that pay 93% of the taxes? They are not quite as numerous as the 49% of the population that pays no taxes.
    You can call these posts class warfare, but the fact remains that the cycle of supply and demand requires a ready customer for the products or services being produced. The ephemeral “Joe Sixpack” wanted his low mortgage and high rate of return in his investments. Wall Street delivered it. I did not hear much protest “then.”
    Spread the blame around, that’s all I ask. One day, just one day of CNBC and other media outlets talking about the role of someone other than Wall Street in all of this would be such a relief.
    -59

  83. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 10:50 PM

    while i agree kicking out the bad and keeping the good works, calling this Class Warfare is retarded.
    a. that guy who cheated on his mortgage? yeah his house is foreclosed. too bad he didn’t take the ARCashBonus while he had the chance, right?
    b. that guy who cheated on his mortgage? hey, why mention the people who preyed on nearly broke idiots with money from the Fed that was nearly free? it’s a two way street, asshole.
    c. since the average wage has stagnated in purchasing power since the 70s you might be wise not to throw around “class warfare” while also mentioning millions of dollars. just a tip.
    d. and, yes, people are outraged. i don’t know if you noticed in greenwich, but a huge amount of people can’t find work, can’t get paid, are losing their homes, etc. etc. and, no, most of them didn’t get subprime/arm mortgages. and since now, in addition to all that shit, they also have to now pay off the debt incurred by this mess, as well as their children and grandchildren. and don’t give me shit about “OMG GOVMNT IS GONNA MAKE A PROFIT”. anyone with half a brain knows that 1/3 of that 8.5 trillion isn’t coming back. it’s like saying “OMG IRAQ WAR PAIS 4 ITSELF.”
    e. only idiots mention class warfare when the rich get flack. where were you the other 95% of the time when the poor were getting flack? oh, yeah, that’s right. you were harping about how there’s no such thing as class warfare in the US.

  84. Posted by Equity Private | January 30, 2009 at 10:51 PM

    The absurdity of one of the most luxuriously living men in the world being used as an example of “reasonable expense” is what is at issue here.
    You can crow all you want about the importance of the F16s, but I notice no one talks about the personal chef, the maid service, the $200,000 a year pension, the post job health benefits, the fact that room and board (of whatever style) is covered for four years.
    The analogy IS “absurd” to use a Muffism. And that’s why the $400,000 cap has no place in the discussion. Anyone attacking my analogy only serves to make my point- which is entertaining since most of them are trying to tell me how stupid I am at the same time.
    That’s it for me. Martini time.

  85. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 10:51 PM

    @81 But do you have to pay if you are Geithner or Daschle?

  86. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 11:00 PM

    @83 I am not aware of the conditions in Greenwich as I neither live their or frequent there.
    I am aware of the conditions across the country hit by what is occurring.
    Shifting blame in its entirety to one group (“Homogeneous Wall Street”) will not lead to any reasonable solution.

  87. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 11:01 PM

    @84. right, lets just hire a chef off the street and put the guy up in a ramada. that way the terrorists can just walk in and kill the President of the United States rather that bothering to bomb your city again. A win-win, right?
    Jesus you’re daft.

  88. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 11:03 PM

    Isn’t that the same logic that Madoff used?
    “They wanted it and I gave it to them so they should be blamed also.”
    This is all just a ploy and everyone is doing exactly what they want. Everyone knows there are ways to funnel money to employees without it being part of their salary so this isn’t an important issue but they want the media to focus on this right now so nobody will focus on what Bernanke, Geithner and his new COS who used to be a lobbyist for a bank are doing behind closed doors. There is a reason Obama made that statement – it’s a way to distract people so that nobody realizes that even after they have transfered almost a trillion dollars from taxpayers to banks they’re still going to give them more. They’re going to take the toxic assets off their books and everyone will be talking about salaries instead of what they’re doing.
    This has all been planned. If anyone starts asking too many questions then be prepared for them to suddenly announce a new terrorist threat to our country or how they discovered a plot to do something bad to Obama and if that doesn’t work Geithner will say something about China again or maybe someone will have to call the children’s school with a bomb threat – anything to take the focus off what they’re doing.

  89. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 11:03 PM

    @82
    Make sure Joe Sixpack doesn’t read this:
    The average tax rate paid by the richest 400 Americans fell by a third to 17.2 percent through the first six years of the Bush administration and their average income doubled to $263.3 million, new IRS data show.
    The 17.2 percent tax rate in 2006 was the lowest since the IRS began tracking the 400 largest taxpayers in 1992, although the richest 400 Americans paid more tax on an inflation-adjusted basis than any year since 2000.
    The drop from 2001’s tax rate of 22.9 percent was due largely to ex-President George W. Bush’s push to cut tax rates on most capital gains to 15 percent in 2003.
    Capital gains made up 63 percent of the richest 400 Americans’ adjusted gross income in 2006, or a combined $66.1 billion, according to the data. In all, the 400 wealthiest Americans reported a combined $105.3 billion of adjusted gross income in 2006, the most recent year for which the IRS has data.
    “The big explosion in income for this group is clearly on the capital gains side, although there are also sharp increases in dividend and interest income,” said Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic Policy and Research in Washington.
    In addition, “they are realizing more of their gains due to the lower tax rate,” Baker said.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=ar5uxG_wV87A&refer=us

  90. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 11:03 PM

    @86. agreed. but there is homogeneous and then there is proportional.

  91. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 11:09 PM

    What I don’t understand are the comments such as “I’m paying for this bailout” and “it’s coming out of my pocket.” Since when have you seen a “TARP tax” on your paycheck, assuming you draw one?
    Until you see a special “TARP tax” just shut up. You have to pay taxes so there is nothing you can do about it. Everyone who draws a paycheck (except the small business owner who writes off everything so they show negative income, thus having no tax liability) pays taxes. If your tax rate went up as a direct result of the TARP then bitch. Until that happens just suck it up because believe me, if all of these big bad banks failed, like you want them to, you would be crying for them to be bailed out. Whatever happy little world you live in would be turned upside down even more than it is today.

  92. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 11:16 PM

    Maybe I’ll just trade in my job with tremebdous earnings volatility (to the downside mostly last few years) and the stress of wondering when the pink slip is coming for a nice cush job at GM (also a bailout recipient) where I can earn $100k/yr at a fraction of the east coast cost-of-living, have tremendous job security (you try firing my future union ass) and a nice pension when I retire at age 55. Maybe being a ‘civil servant’ isn’t so bad?
    (Putting gun to my head…pulling trigger)

  93. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 11:17 PM

    @90. No bonus for those working in debt, pay those in equity because equity crushed it!

  94. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 11:18 PM

    @91. it probably stems from the belief that
    a) rich people by and large can afford more expensive tax people and hence pay less taxes by % terms. everyone knows this.
    b) there is a big difference between paying 30% in taxes on 30k and paying 50% in taxes on $10 mil. For starters you don’t get divorced, you don’t get you house foreclosed on, you don’t have to find work the next day, you don’t have to worry about your children’s education, etc. etc.
    c) this isn’t about big banks failing. it’s about certain people profiting far more than others.
    Damn dude get a clue, no scratch that, the happy little black and white world you live in is obviously doing wonders for you.

  95. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 11:22 PM

    @93. might as well. though keep the stipulation that there is a forced conversion to cash within 3 years max.
    i can definitely see some holding on to those shares that are worth more than 0 only because of this bail-out only to cash them back in at $30-50 in a few years only because of the bail-out. of course the general public will never realize how much they got fleeced on that deal.

  96. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 11:24 PM

    @94. It probably stems from:
    a) those rich people are smarter than the not rich people (most of the time)
    b) I agree, but how does that relate to anything I said
    c) again, see A
    I don’t see color, I only see people.

  97. Posted by guest | January 30, 2009 at 11:31 PM

    @96. i’m really not convinced it’s most of the time.
    i did the ivy thing and the smart+rich thing and frankly the only conclusion i came to was that they’re just as dumb as everyone else. well, ok, mildly smarter. but not $1 mil smarter.
    i don’t see people, i only see tits.

  98. Posted by guest | January 31, 2009 at 12:40 AM

    Uh, EP, you forgot to mention that one requirement nowadays for the President’s job is securing the votes of, oh, say, 55 million Americans, each of whom is as opinionated and as talented in God’s eyes as you are (unless of course you are somehow ‘special’). You may not respect the outcome of the recent election, or any of the preceding for that matter, but there is no way you can be honest and compare climbing the ladder at a corporation, be it GE or JPM, and winning the Presidency. Are you suggesting the responsibilities are similar?
    Therefore comparing the work and implied compensation of any President of the USA and your garden variety corporate ceo schmuck is disingenuous at best.
    Time for a re-think.

  99. Posted by guest | January 31, 2009 at 12:59 AM

    While the Democrats have made an admirable attempt to solidify their gerrymandered districts by igniting class warfare, how much longer can it be until someone wonders who lost more money this year – Congress or Citigroup? Of all the TARP-receiving banks and Congress, who actually brought in more money in a year than they spent that year within the last decade? I’ll give you a hint, it isn’t Congress
    Take the most insolvent, worthless bank and I guarantee you their balance sheet has a lower debt/equity ratio than the federal government’s (if you assume that taxes collected represent equity in the govt – which works in theory but falls flat on its face when you look at how shamelessly Congress pisses away tax money on pet projects).

  100. Posted by guest | January 31, 2009 at 12:59 AM

    While the Democrats have made an admirable attempt to solidify their gerrymandered districts by igniting class warfare, how much longer can it be until someone wonders who lost more money this year – Congress or Citigroup? Of all the TARP-receiving banks and Congress, who actually brought in more money in a year than they spent that year within the last decade? I’ll give you a hint, it isn’t Congress
    Take the most insolvent, worthless bank and I guarantee you their balance sheet has a lower debt/equity ratio than the federal government’s (if you assume that taxes collected represent equity in the govt – which works in theory but falls flat on its face when you look at how shamelessly Congress pisses away tax money on pet projects).

  101. Posted by guest | January 31, 2009 at 1:01 AM

    @98 if you think most american voters are opinionated, you need to turn off msnbc and go around asking people to name a dozen federal elected officials
    I would bet you a dozen bank of america mugs that 90% of America can’t do it

  102. Posted by guest | January 31, 2009 at 1:08 AM

    @EP: F’ing Brilliant!
    @98: OK, yea, you won; but it sucks that it’s a booby prize, eh? The money IS relevant. At least the Wall Street folks DID create wealth, until the folks at Government forced bad loans down their throats – so that they had to find a way to sell off crap that they knew was worthless from the get go. Is that fraud? I don’t know, maybe. Is it still fraud if the Government says you MUST write the obvious bad loans? Maybe not, maybe it’s just self-defense.
    No one in Government EVER created wealth. Public service? HA! Public service would be doing the job for free. True public service is hammering nails for Habitat for free like Carter. He was awful, but at least he has redeemed himself somewhat by being useful to some common folk.
    Alas, finally, your guy wins, just in time to watch it all go down the rat hole…
    I hope he succeeds in at least righting the ship; because if he fails, the results are horrific..not the least of which is that the pitchforks and torches homestead survivalist freaks will believe that they’ve been ‘proven right’.
    Unfortunately, appointing a tax cheat to Treasury and forcing through a Trillion (!) pork spending package which creates zero (0) jobs versus the 4 million advertised looks like just more of the same writ large instead of ‘change’. He might want to save enough of the credit card limit to feed people for a year or two before we max out.
    Q: How p.o.’d are his supporters going to be when they realize he’s going to be made to be the fall guy?

  103. Posted by guest | January 31, 2009 at 2:21 AM

    lol 102 is an idiot.
    where did your ‘wealth’ come from? oh, right, the fed. or the military.
    you fanatics are so easy to spot.

  104. Posted by guest | January 31, 2009 at 2:26 AM

    seriously do all of you people really believe this shit or are you just regurgitating shit that you picked up in undergrad because you haven’t bothered to think since you took daddy’s beemer out at age 15??
    i can’t even describe how dumb most of you are.

  105. Posted by guest | January 31, 2009 at 3:11 AM

    Never understood how these banks were ostensibly forced to take the money? Why didn’t guys like Jamie Dimon just say no and take their chances. This is the kind of question you keep waiting for the media to ask and they don’t.

  106. Posted by guest | January 31, 2009 at 4:01 AM

    As A guest but following you guys since 3 years I would like to comment on the premises of your post.
    I agree with the concept of synchronizing compensations and salaries between national executive and corporate executive positions.
    The accounting of the items seems to cover most of the expenses involved for a national executive but the same shoud be done for coporate executive.
    However when you mention “..I think clawbacks if the executive fails to pull us out of this recession are called for” We should consider that it would be right to admit that the present executive in charge did not put us, the US in the current mess!
    The recession is the result of a dysfunctional administration over many decades.
    Maybe we could consider a Clawbackward to recover some of the unduly paid compensations to both sides?
    Just a thought
    Bonjour de Paris anyway
    Yves Bodson

  107. Posted by guest | January 31, 2009 at 4:02 AM

    As A guest but following you guys since 3 years I would like to comment on the premises of your post.
    I agree with the concept of synchronizing compensations and salaries between national executive and corporate executive positions.
    The accounting of the items seems to cover most of the expenses involved for a national executive but the same shoud be done for coporate executive.
    However when you mention “..I think clawbacks if the executive fails to pull us out of this recession are called for” We should consider that it would be right to admit that the present executive in charge did not put us, the US in the current mess!
    The recession is the result of a dysfunctional administration over many decades.
    Maybe we could consider a Clawbackward to recover some of the unduly paid compensations to both sides?
    Just a thought
    Bonjour de Paris anyway
    Yves Bodson

  108. Posted by guest | January 31, 2009 at 4:43 AM

    A cap on compensation is a stupid idea. A zero dollar cap on public money given to idiot firms that should no longer exist would be a far better one.

  109. Posted by guest | January 31, 2009 at 6:37 AM

    @105
    Paulson is the one who said that he was giving TARP money to 9 banks whether they needed it or not. This was done that way to cover the guilty. But nobody has proven that any of the 9 really didn’t need the money. The whole thing smells of collusion. You see, the story was that Paulson was only supposed to give money to “healthy” banks, but he never disclosed how he measured “health” and he probably never read Meredith Whitney either. He was just avoiding the triage issue, which would have required temporarily nationalizing the ones that should survive, like Sweden did.
    Now they are all waiting in line to get more TARP money, while bitching and moaning about having more strings attached to get it, like compensation caps, etc. But this is what you get when you mess around with lemon socialism. The auto executives got a big dose of that in Congress, but Paulson’s friends didn’t, until now.
    Lets see what happens to the bad bad bank idea next week. That should give us a good hint of where this new administration is heading in resolving the solvency issues. We all know a couple of bank executives leaked to Gasparino that things were on hold regarding the bad bank, but it was not clear what spin Gasparino was supposed to give to that fact.

  110. Posted by guest | January 31, 2009 at 9:15 AM

    Everyone gets “tarped”.

  111. Posted by guest | January 31, 2009 at 9:27 AM

    @98 and others. i dont think ep is saying the president is paid too much. she is simply pointing out that the senators who shout that
    “$400,000 is enough for the president, so why not for everyone else” are either :
    a. stupid or
    b. know that the vast majority of the public will buy this silly sound bite
    everyone knows the presidency of the usa is a huge job with more responsibility than any private sector job. and everyone should know the lifetime financial rewards of being a president are higher than all but a handful of private sector jobs.
    i dont think its any more than that. as for our friends in the senate i either pity them for their lack of intellect or shame them for trying to confuse the masses.
    go, ep, go.

  112. Posted by guest | January 31, 2009 at 9:27 AM

    @98 and others. i dont think ep is saying the president is paid too much. she is simply pointing out that the senators who shout that
    “$400,000 is enough for the president, so why not for everyone else” are either :
    a. stupid or
    b. know that the vast majority of the public will buy this silly sound bite
    everyone knows the presidency of the usa is a huge job with more responsibility than any private sector job. and everyone should know the lifetime financial rewards of being a president are higher than all but a handful of private sector jobs.
    i dont think its any more than that. as for our friends in the senate i either pity them for their lack of intellect or shame them for trying to confuse the masses.
    go, ep, go.

  113. Posted by guest | January 31, 2009 at 9:34 AM

    “Some interesting calculations from Ben Stein, American Spectator blog:
    “For the amount spent[to be spent on the so-called stimulus bill] we could have given every unemployed person in the United States roughly $75,000.
    We could give every person who had lost a job and is now passing through long-term unemployment of six months or longer roughly $300,000.
    There has been pork barrel politics since there has been politics. The scale of this pork is beyond what had ever been imagined before — and no one can be sure it will actually do much stimulation.”
    Posted by: Fred Beloit | Friday, January 30, 2009 at 09:53 AM”
    http://tinyurl.com/bzcrze

  114. Posted by guest | January 31, 2009 at 10:28 AM

    Jack Welch provides some clarity here: you invested taxpayer money with these companies, if you starve them and all the talent leaves, just set your return assumption to zero.
    http://www.cnbc.com/id/15840232?video=1016629643&play=1
    No matter what the economic climate, the top 5-15% can always leave. Within two years you’re left with only the chaff.

  115. Posted by clientnine | January 31, 2009 at 11:16 AM

    I would like to make the obvious statement that big business will argue the solution for this recession is the same solution they wanted for the bubble: remove the cap on the number of work visas the United States grants.

  116. Posted by guest | January 31, 2009 at 12:24 PM

    @22. There are “other” planes that are always within reach of Air Force One as well. I think they may be F-22s nowadays. So there’s another few million a year as well..

  117. Posted by guest | January 31, 2009 at 12:56 PM

    WOW DO YOU REALLY THINK YOU COULD RENT THE WHITE HOUSE FOR ONLY $5.5MM/YR?
    THAT IS THE ULTIMATE TROPHY PROPERTY THERE.

  118. Posted by guest | January 31, 2009 at 1:30 PM

    wonderful, wonderful, most wonderful, and yet again wonderful

  119. Posted by guest | January 31, 2009 at 1:36 PM

    Body guards don’t make 200k each in the US.
    They are all Secret Service guys. I have known several in the past when I lived in DC. It is a 50k-70k a year job.

  120. Posted by guest | January 31, 2009 at 2:43 PM

    EP u rule.

  121. Posted by guest | January 31, 2009 at 2:58 PM

    @114 and like. You people really ‘just dont get it’ do you. If the ‘top talent’ had not run these companies to bankruptcy and then started screaming ‘the sky is falling’ the government would never have invested taxpayers money in the first place. The only sane return assumption is zero regardless. Why is it that so many bankers cannot understand the concept of bankruptcy? Can you not get your heads out of your collective asses for long enough to get a whiff of reality? Perhaps we agree on something – I dont believe the government has any place setting limits on compensation – they should not have any part in it whatsoever. But I believe they should not be loaning or giving public money to bankrupt firms in the first place and so this ‘top talent’ should be looking for the next fool to bleed dry. Unfortunately for everyone effectively they where and they found the government who was foolishly happy to oblige. That is the problem. This ‘top talent’ can and will bleed the US treasury dry too.
    But I’m sorry this is not my definition of ‘top talent’. If these people are so bright they would see this too – perhaps even they do they just dont see beyond this to the point where there is no one left willing to protect their sorry asses. Our only hope is that Russian and Chinese tank and bomber crews will laugh themselves to death at the sight of these people! At the end of the day your money will be worthless and not just due to inflation. Its a shame so many will suffer for your unrelenting greed and mind boggling egos. Get it now ?

  122. Posted by guest | January 31, 2009 at 3:40 PM

    EP I am impressed we should get this clown impeached. Another govt hack!

  123. Posted by Anal_yst | January 31, 2009 at 3:52 PM

    hot damn this one really got the yahoo finance crowd out in droves, didn’t it, sheesh!

  124. Posted by guest | January 31, 2009 at 4:28 PM

    Anal,
    I smell more Gawker than Y.Fin.

  125. Posted by guest | January 31, 2009 at 6:31 PM

    Too many comments; TGFD didn’t read all of them, but may I add…
    Although I’m no fan of the current president (obama), I do believe that the safety and security of the president is much more important to the nation than that of any Wall St executive.
    With regard to all those presidential perks that are paid for by others, I wonder how many times John Thain flew on corporate jets, ate corporate meals, drank company booze, drove company cars, used company drivers, had private company staff at his home, lived in a house, went on vacation, wore clothes, used charge/debit cards, had body guards, did whatever the fk else he might like to do, and then had it all paid for by his employer, while he was still being paid $60 millon?
    Equity Private…
    I think your analogy is pretty lame; it did draw a lot of comments, though. Good job.
    The Guy from Delaware

  126. Posted by guest | January 31, 2009 at 6:34 PM

    I still say break out the pitchforks and torches for a party on Wall St.

  127. Posted by guest | January 31, 2009 at 6:41 PM

    That’s about as much as a GS top jockey makes on the back of the people’s money with commission clocking and perhaps (but not known to me) a little front running here and there. But he keeps it, while your calc is accounting units. Nice try though!

  128. Posted by guest | January 31, 2009 at 7:59 PM

    Wow, I’m European and thought we were socialist! A lot of class warfare types on here!
    Bottom line is this : The banks are needed. They provide a vital role in any economy. And I’m sorry to break it to some of you Trotskyites on here but whether you like it or not, banking is a vital part of the economy – manufacturing, etc is disposable. Banking is like the veins which allow the lifeblood of the economy – money – to flow through.
    If you want to blame somebody for the economic mess, blame Greenspan for keeping rates low and YOURSELVES for being greedy and leveraging up… who doesn’t know somebody who didn’t think the housing market was a one way ticket to wealth and that house prices “always” went up”???

  129. Posted by guest | January 31, 2009 at 8:09 PM

    What we’re seeing in action today is Tocqueville’s Democracy in America coming true. Democracy will always deteriorate into tyranny of the majority. When over 50% of the population do not pay income taxes, they end up with enough votes to force the minority to support their lazy asses.
    All these “capitalistic” executives who begged the govt to save them instead of going bankrupt has accelerated the demise of our society. Sure, the banking sector is important, but is saving the current structure of a few banks worth the mortgage of our children’s future?
    -79

  130. Posted by guest | January 31, 2009 at 8:13 PM

    Further analysis needed:
    1. Vice President
    2. Cabinet ex-State Department
    3. State Department (One of my genuine faves, a heavyweight champ – the Hill)
    4. Senate ex-Harry Reid
    5. Harry Reid
    6. House of Representatives
    7. Henry “The Mole” Waxman
    8. Supreme Court
    CT

  131. Posted by guest | January 31, 2009 at 8:45 PM

    @79 I completely agree re: the comments of Tocqueville.
    As noted by others, not all of these banks asked for the help. Mr. Paulson forced them to take it. And yes, now you can say that if not where would they be, but back when Paulson was coming up with a solution every time he had a sip of water, it was not so clear.
    Members of congress and the president are actually quite insulated from all of this, hence their ability to focus fomenting the masses into a frenzy.
    Given the annuity of revenue that is the post Presidency, regardless of performance, just look at Carter, I suggest the President take no salary and live off the perks for four to eight years. I’m sure some enterprising Wall Street banker will extend the President a loan on those future earnings if necessary.
    -59

  132. Posted by guest | January 31, 2009 at 9:48 PM

    EP, I think I am in love.
    What is it about EP’s best posts that brings the Yahoo finance yahoos out of the woodwork? Read the top of your browser window, folks. It doesn’t say “A Main Street Tabloid.”

  133. Posted by guest | January 31, 2009 at 10:08 PM

    Claire Mc-Ass-Kill is a snatch. she needs to go back to howdy doody land. how is it that we elect such dumb people…

  134. Posted by guest | January 31, 2009 at 10:13 PM

    You’re missing the $100 mm the Gov. spent on the inauguration.

  135. Posted by guest | January 31, 2009 at 10:40 PM

    I’m a hedge fund CEO. What is a Yahoo finance yahoo?

  136. Posted by guest | January 31, 2009 at 10:42 PM

    I thought I read it was 170 Million?

  137. Posted by guest | January 31, 2009 at 10:51 PM

    $42 mm in private money raised.

  138. Posted by guest | January 31, 2009 at 11:29 PM

    @134
    I don’t know what the government spent on the inauguration, and how much was raised from private sources, but I do know that Congress allocated $50 mm in 2008 to the GOP Convention. The same amount was allocated to the Democratic national convention.
    And that was not the first time. In 2004 the same amounts were allocated for the conventions.
    Total costs in 2 election years for 4 conventions: $200 mm.
    The costs are justified as security costs.

  139. Posted by guest | February 1, 2009 at 12:30 AM

    Did they ever clean up all that garbage on the National Mall. I’ve heard a lot of people who work in Washington have colds now and they are blaming it on the influx of strangers to their city.

  140. Posted by CapitolCapital | February 1, 2009 at 10:31 AM

    in case of a nuclear attack, I’m sure having the president on American Airlines using an airphone activated by his POTUS Corporate Card is a viable option.
    I’m not sure I’d classify any security measures as a “benefit”

  141. Posted by guest | February 1, 2009 at 11:08 AM

    I love you bitch, really I do.

  142. Posted by Anal_yst | February 1, 2009 at 12:50 PM

    @124
    Looks to be about 50/50, regardless, always a fun time when the ignorant masses come out and play, sigh…

  143. Posted by guest | February 1, 2009 at 1:00 PM

    Wow, this post is linked all over the place. Conservative blogs, Liberal Blogs, Fashion Blogs and everything in between. Didn’t see it on yahoo though.

  144. Posted by guest | February 1, 2009 at 1:12 PM
  145. Posted by guest | February 1, 2009 at 1:48 PM

    EP I love you. Love love love

  146. Posted by guest | February 1, 2009 at 2:00 PM

    Claire McCaskill has cankles

  147. Posted by guest | February 1, 2009 at 2:04 PM

    Off topic, but I’m adding a comment here about today’s big game.
    TGFD doesn’t care about the game itself or about who wins or loses. I’m not ‘for’ either team, really.
    TGFD is ‘for’ all the unfortunate women who will get the hell beat out of them today by their drunkass husbands/boyfriends because of something involving that f’n game.
    It happens every year.
    The Guy from Delaware

  148. Posted by guest | February 1, 2009 at 2:56 PM

    I heard a statistic one time that 83% of all abused women had it coming.

  149. Posted by guest | February 1, 2009 at 2:57 PM

    RE: Equity Private post #53
    but this class warfare noise is getting out of hand.
    – No it’s not. It’s just getting warmed up.
    There is a mechanism to punish wrongdoing in a democracy. That’s the criminal justice system.
    – What’s being done with it? Where are the results?
    the government needs to stay out of the punitive business.
    – NO.
    That’s the kind of country you want to live in? Where is the Spanking for the last 5 executives at Fan and Fred? What about the outgoing SEC higher-ups? Are they not going to get their time behind the woodshed?
    – Right. They need to be held accountable too.
    – This list should get longer.
    Presendential compenstation is not relevant to the topic. It is a seperate issue.
    STOP TRYING TO DIVERT BLAME.
    STOP TRYING TO CONFUSE THE SITUATION.
    GIVE US BACK OUR MONEY

  150. Posted by guest | February 1, 2009 at 3:10 PM

    @149:
    That money is not coming back to you under any circumstances. The government is merely allocating it to its highest and best use. Otherwise it would be spent on things like installing a sprinkler system on the National Mall or protecting some endangered animal. Trying to fixing the economy is going to have a more direct benefit to you than the sprinklers. If you disagree, call up your Congressman, and quit whining here.

  151. Posted by Phobos | February 1, 2009 at 3:47 PM

    All taxes should be shown on the firm side: they should trendline net effective taxes across pay scales and subtract that from salaries. If you made 100k before and the trendlined tax is 35%, now you make 65k. You don’t ever see the word “tax” on your paycheck again.
    Notice the argument isn’t that the money is being spent on the financial system, but that it’s tax money?

  152. Posted by guest | February 1, 2009 at 4:49 PM

    Hmm. Finance threads always feature a lot of cocksure ignorance. This is always awesomely entertaining, but now that ignorance will bit the asses of its purveyors. As someone older, more worldly, and probably wealthier than most of EP’s nut swinger brigade, you clowns are really going to be surprised by how this shakes out. Trust me guys, the smart money is betting against you and your Douche-Frat.

  153. Posted by Phobos | February 1, 2009 at 5:55 PM

    @152
    All I heard was “blah blah blah, I fucking hate life.”

  154. Posted by guest | February 1, 2009 at 6:17 PM

    @153
    Yes, I know. That is why the next act will hurt your ilk so much.

  155. Posted by Phobos | February 1, 2009 at 6:22 PM

    @154
    Coming in here like Nostradamus proffering bullshit and not backing it up: that’s just lame.
    You and your ilk can kiss my ass; when you can offer something more to the table than condescension try again.

  156. Posted by guest | February 1, 2009 at 7:00 PM

    This thread is getting to be as boring and lame as Chicago Boyz. Good stuff going on at the BAC Bonus Watch ’09 thread though. See ya.

  157. Posted by Equity Private | February 1, 2009 at 7:26 PM

    “Equity Private…
    I think your analogy is pretty lame; it did draw a lot of comments, though. Good job.
    The Guy from Delaware”
    I understand that this post seems to have gone over many readers’ heads. I’ll try to sort this out demographically and address the concerns I’ve seen:
    1. To the readers who complain that this analogy is inappropriate: Exactly. It is satire. That clear yet?
    Sticking a salary cap at some arbitrary number is daft enough. Using the most pampered, coddled and attended individual in the world as a model for “reasonability” when it comes to compensation is beyond daft. This was the point. The more you argue for the inclusion of jets, the executive office building, Camp David and the like the more you make my point. That being: This is a totally moronic benchmark for salary caps.
    2. To the readers who read this as some tacit or explicit support for large investment banks on my part: Reading is fundamental.
    Nowhere do I make this claim, nor is it part of my worldview. I understand that it is easy to erect this straw man in order to detract from the larger message (the government is screwing the pooch) than actually address the argument, but if you want to be taken seriously by anyone worth talking with stop putting words into my mouth.
    3. To the readers that want to “Hang them high.”: You are a petty, and ugly lynch mob. You are everything that is wrong with the United States.
    As I pointed out before, there is a system in place to deal with wrongdoing in society. That’s the criminal justice system. Due process is enshrined in the national republic’s instruction manual for a reason. You are that reason. It was put there to protect the republic, and its citizens, from the likes of you. That is worthy of some reflection on your part. Losses are not a crime. If they so become, you, who took a bath on your 401k on top of your real estate investments, and have thereby plunged your family into ruin because you spent all of 90 minutes deciding where to invest your capital, are on the hook too. Maybe the lynch mob stringing up people who lost money isn’t such a good idea after all?
    5. To the enemies of free markets, neoclassical pricing theory, and, in short, personal responsibility: The per capita income of the globe is ~$11,700 ($78.38 trillion against 6.7 billion individuals in 2007) so the next time you talk about income equality the failure of capitalism and “fairness,” make sure you have managed to live on an income under this line, because unless the superman you have appointed to run the planet chooses sides and plays favorites, that’s what your check from the Global Income Distribution Agency every year is going to read (minus administrative costs). Fair is fair.

  158. Posted by guest | February 1, 2009 at 7:27 PM

    @155
    Look dude, there is a s—storm on its way and its going to hit the d-bags (like Equity Private) who think they are in the clear b/c they are still good at the same things that put them in their positions in FIRE. Listen up: this isn’t ass kissing in Hyde Park or getting into the eating club of your dreams. The douche frat that is FIRE is loosing friends. Castration of these industries and their most noxious constituents WILL happen. The question EP, Phobos, and all the other clowns pushing this BS should ask themselves: do you want castration to be elective surgery under sanitary conditions or do you want emergency surgery with rusty implements?

  159. Posted by guest | February 1, 2009 at 7:38 PM

    Let us try to limit the compensation to no more
    than 20 times the lowest paid employee (direct or via contract)

  160. Posted by guest | February 1, 2009 at 8:53 PM

    Discount rate you are applying to Pension is much too high. You are saying that the pension should be discounted at a roughly 9% rate. The government borrows at 30 years for about 3%, so gotta use 3%. Pension value should be about $6,000,000.

  161. Posted by guest | February 1, 2009 at 8:53 PM

    EP,
    Losses may not be a crime, but it is a “crime” to avoid losses using the public’s money. In fact, Wall Street is one degree array from the French monarchy which enjoyed bonuses while the masses were told to eat cake. In this environment, and as much as I despise price controls, I think that some sort of salary cap is warranted. Pretending we are capitalists when we are not serves nobody:
    POTUS
    Salary Capped at: $400K (up to $59M)
    Price of Failure: Death, death of a large number of U.S. citizens, condemnation of history.
    Bankers
    Salary Capped at: $400K
    Price of Failure: None, not even joblessness, due to continued reliance on TARP.
    Risk and Reward at work, post-capitalism. Note that Wall Street is still making out like a bandit.

  162. Posted by guest | February 1, 2009 at 8:54 PM

    @ 157
    Um, I think poster 44 said it more concisely: sophomore in Hyde Park!

  163. Posted by guest | February 1, 2009 at 8:57 PM

    @8:53 – I cummed in your girl last night

  164. Posted by guest | February 1, 2009 at 9:12 PM

    lay-off watch?? anybody??

  165. Posted by Barack Obama | February 1, 2009 at 9:12 PM

    @157 – If we spread the wealth around it makes everyone better off. Stop exploiting people.

  166. Posted by Equity Private | February 1, 2009 at 9:29 PM

    No one proves my point with more clarity and vigor than #158.
    #158: I do hope that once you are done with your onanistic fantasies of an armed insurrection rising to destroy Wall Street and kill all the bankers (or whatever the hell you were talking about), there is someone around with a tissue to clean up the mess.
    I seem to remember this sort of thing having been tried before. I will leave it to you to research the results.
    Also, you will find it difficult to castrate me.

  167. Posted by guest | February 1, 2009 at 9:36 PM

    @163 – only after I hit her backdoor.

  168. Posted by guest | February 1, 2009 at 10:03 PM

    It is clear that we have to exterminate the false notion that the economic system can exist and operate entirely freely and entirely outside of any control or supervision on the part of the State. Today there can no longer be such a thing as an independent economic system. That is to say, the economic system can no longer be left to itself exclusively. And this is so, not only because it is unallowable from the political point of view but also because, in the purely economic sphere itself, the consequences would be disastrous.
    It is out of the question that millions of individuals should be allowed to work just as they like and merely to meet their own needs; but it is just as impossible to allow the entire system of economics to function according to the notions held exclusively in economic circles and thus made to serve egotistic interests. Then there is the further consideration that these economic circles are not in a position to bear the responsibility for their own failures. In its modern phase of the development, the economic system concentrates enormous masses of workers in certain special branches and in definite local areas. New inventions or a slump in the market may destroy whole branches of industry at one blow.
    The CEO may close his factory gates. He may even try to find a new field for his personal activities. In most cases he will not be ruined so easily. Moreover, the CEOs who have to suffer in such contingencies are only a small number if individuals. But on the other side there are hundreds of thousands of workers, with their wives and children. Who is to defend their interests and care for them? The whole community of the people? Indeed, it is its duty to do so. Therefore the whole community cannot be made to bear the burden of economic disasters without according it the right of influencing and controlling economic life and thus avoiding catastrophes.

  169. Posted by guest | February 1, 2009 at 10:35 PM

    168,
    Stopped reading at “State.” Thanks for capitalizing it.
    The [s]tate is excellent with money. Seriously.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHK-ioV8UE8

  170. Posted by guest | February 1, 2009 at 10:38 PM

    @EP-166:
    You are the reason I rely on this site as a news/intelligent commentary source. I’d definitely buy you a beer – you seem like a beer girl.

  171. Posted by guest | February 1, 2009 at 10:54 PM

    168,
    “That is to say, the economic system can no longer be left to itself exclusively.”
    No longer? You fucking dolt. See: http://www.sec.gov/
    Notice the crest? Wave your flag.

  172. Posted by guest | February 1, 2009 at 11:02 PM

    @168,
    How fun, a game of “What am I Plagiarizing?” Is that Marx? Perhaps the Communist Manifesto? Lenin? Mao’s Little Red Book? Mein Kampf?
    Go home.

  173. Posted by guest | February 1, 2009 at 11:03 PM

    @170
    EP is a girl? Like Article III Groupie? Oy vey!

  174. Posted by Barack Obama | February 1, 2009 at 11:03 PM

    @167, you love having your dick in poop?

  175. Posted by guest | February 1, 2009 at 11:09 PM

    @168
    Errr. Nope. Wrong. This is the other side of the equation. Just as I have no desire to support bankers that have failed, I have no desire to support candlestick makers and buggy whip manufacturers because they too have failed at their missions (lighting and transportation, respectively). Each person, family, and company must seek to be “economical” in the truest sense of the word, that is what the community demands – an efficient use of limited resources. The millions of individuals working just as they like are perhaps the only people that bring change to this planet. Forcing these individuals to bend to the will of the failed is an affront to progress. I support salary caps on the failed TARP bankers because I do not want to see wholesale socialism and stasis in the future. I do not want to see failure rewarded.
    -161

  176. Posted by guest | February 1, 2009 at 11:12 PM

    168/Hitler.
    “We know that National Socialism vigorously combats the opinion which holds that the economic structure exists for the benefit of capital and that the people are to be looked upon as subject to the economic system. We were therefore determined from the very beginning to exterminate the false notion that the economic system could exist and operate entirely freely and entirely outside of any control or supervision on the part of the State. Today there can no longer be such a thing as an independent economic system. That is to say, the economic system can no longer be left to itself exclusively. And this is so, not only because it is unallowable from the political point of view but also because, in the purely economic sphere itself, the consequences would be disastrous.”
    ON NATIONAL SOCIALISM AND WORLD RELATIONS
    SPEECH DELIVERED IN THE GERMAN REICHSTAG ON JANUARY 30TH 1937
    by Adolf Hitler
    FÜHRER AND CHANCELLOR

  177. Posted by guest | February 1, 2009 at 11:13 PM

    @172
    The genius was plagiarizing Hitler, a speech in the Reichstag, January, 1937.

  178. Posted by Joseph di Jersey City | February 1, 2009 at 11:15 PM

    1) EP is spot on in making a joke of comp being capped at $400K based on the President’s salary. I’d only add that what so many people seek in politics is power, celebrity, and acclaim. That’s hard to put a dollar value on but clearly tilts the labor market for some toward politics (e.g. Bloomberg, Corzine, Spitzer, etc.). Politics is Hollywood for ugly people.
    2) As for the lynch mob – a basic principle of living in a civilized state is that there is rule of law and not men (nor mobs). If the comp of some Wall Street people offends you (it offends me in many cases) then the remedy is not to retroactively change the laws by fiat but to make sure it doesn’t happen in the future; without infringing on rights such as the right to freely engage in voluntary contracts.

  179. Posted by guest | February 1, 2009 at 11:28 PM

    OK douchebags, but aside from the satirical remarks, be aware that the TARP beneficiaries are to be considered wards of the state until they die, or pay back. They are incapacitated unless the state provides them protection and support. Learn to live with it, as you learned to live with the bomb.

  180. Posted by guest | February 1, 2009 at 11:42 PM

    @ 174 – yeah it wasn’t that good.
    @ 177 – Well played, 168, assuming you were being facetious.

  181. Posted by guest | February 2, 2009 at 1:10 AM

    180: 168 here
    Unfortunately, DB is filled with little children who have to prove how much they know (or how good they are with Google). Thus, watching the lefto-facists here pat me on the back for a great idea is spoiled by morons.
    Oh well.

  182. Posted by guest | February 2, 2009 at 1:24 AM

    181,
    Wait…we’re all supposed to sit here and wait for the retards to position themselves with you (168) before we lash out?
    You know a good amount of people in this country would absolutely side with the Fuhrer’s argument if his name didn’t come attached? Comedy is about timing and position. You met neither.

  183. Posted by guest | February 2, 2009 at 3:28 AM

    this could have been cute if it was legit. the writer knows the values claimed as comp for most of those items are only fractions their full costs to the employer. is dealbreaker about to jump the shark?

  184. Posted by guest | February 2, 2009 at 7:25 AM

    jellus?

  185. Posted by guest | February 2, 2009 at 8:26 AM

    EP, please keep writting. You are much more entertaining than you realize.

  186. Posted by guest | February 2, 2009 at 8:46 AM

    @185
    Booyah!

  187. Posted by guest | February 2, 2009 at 11:47 AM

    @91 What I don’t understand is how there are people like you that can be so dumb. Where do you think this money comes from then?? The bankers tooth fairy?
    Perhaps tax has not gone up yet to pay for this, because instead they have just burrowed this money – it has not just materialized from nowhere. This means either there will be less money for the things theses taxes where supposed to have been collected – or tax will have to go up in the future.
    How can you not understand such basic realities? Perhaps it is you who should ‘just shut up’. idiot child

  188. Posted by guest | February 2, 2009 at 11:59 AM

    @150 Perhaps its better not to try to fix the economy when your fix is worse then the original problem.

  189. Posted by guest | February 2, 2009 at 11:40 PM

    You forgot Camp David. Seems like unlimited use of an Isolated retreat for you and guests would be worth a few bucks.
    Mark

  190. Posted by BlackSwan06 | February 3, 2009 at 10:05 PM

    Fresh off the wire:
    “President Barack Obama plans to unveil a series of new pay curbs Wednesday, including limits to executive salaries.
    Among the new restrictions being considered is a cap on salaries for executives at companies that receive a substantial amount of government aid. Such a move would amount to an unprecedented effort to limit executive pay.”
    Jeebus.

  191. Posted by guest | February 5, 2009 at 5:00 AM

    EP, this is pure genius! You quite obviously have some mad accounting skills! If the PE/blogging thing doesn’t work out for you, I think you have a distinguished career at the IRS awaiting you, where you’ll be able to very accurately audit our politicians’ taxes. They obviously need a little help with this.

  192. Posted by guest | February 5, 2009 at 1:20 PM

    Instead of focusing on the President, who never stops being President, you should look at the “costs” associated with the Congressional leadership – cars, planes, drivers, security, staff, pay raises each year… And then they have the guts to demand that corporate leaders act in a more responsible way, unbelievable.

  193. Posted by guest | February 5, 2009 at 10:51 PM

    What a douche. You get bailed the f*** out and think you’re entitled to argue about how much compensation you receive? Try running a profitable company and not taking my f***ing tax money, a**hole. The fact that she chose the President’s salary as the cap is irrelevant to the conversation. I’d vote for legislative disgorgement from every one of you s.o.b’s who received more than $500k last year in total comp. Bunch of ungrateful, worthless pieces of detritus.

  194. Posted by guest | February 6, 2009 at 6:06 AM
  195. Posted by guest | February 6, 2009 at 10:47 AM

    @193 Don’t you mean corporate failures rather then corporate leaders?

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