There’s an outrageous article in Crain’s today about executive perks. Apparently senior management at some banks get to fly on the corporate jet. Others have their country club tabs picked up by the company. A few—VERNON JORDAN, LAZARD LTD, SHAME HIM IN THE STREETS—even get their apartments paid for, at up to $24,000 a month. Crazy, isn’t it? No, it’s not crazy. What’s crazy is that everyone—author, shareholder activists, Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon-- still fails to get it. If I agree to run one of these things, I want to plied with gifts at every turn. This job is really hard and I’m very sensitive and the suggestion that I’m not worth tons of freebies plays on the deep insecurity I attempt to mask with a self-righteous attitude and shameless bravado. That makes me unhappy and you know what happens when I’m not happy—I destroy billions in shareholder capital (I might do that anyway, but without the gifts the threat is more imminent).
Plus, the notion that shouldering my basic costs of living is a “gift” is absolutely absurd. That’s a basic requirement of your job in keeping me comfortable enough to work. I never, EVER, would’ve taken this gig if I thought I would be asked to pay for wherever I happen to rest my head. It's extremely demeaning. Know what I would consider a “gift” and something I’d even think about standing before shareholders and fighting for? Free access to the Olsen twins, which I hear Goldman has no problem subsidizing for LB, though, as this video shows, he made be getting duped.
Open your eyes and watch this clip. Open them or I'll staple your eyelids to your forehead.
Top Execs Settle Into Easy Living [Crain's New York]