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Ear to the Ground

Big Bucks for GM Boss

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Posted on Feb 20, 2010
GM building

It seems that the romantic notion of cutting back on executives’ astronomical salaries, especially execs at corporations that benefited from government funding, hasn’t exactly caught on like wildfire in the American auto business. Take General Motors, for example—at one point, it seemed that the Detroit giant might not be long for this world, but then, thanks to the magic of the bailout, GM survived. And now, to show its gratitude, the company is ... rewarding its new CEO with a salary that’s comparable to what his predecessor made in 2008.  —KA


General Motors (GM) has said chief executive Ed Whitacre will get an annual salary of $1.7m (£1.1m), plus $7.3m in shares at a later date.

The pay package was approved by the US Treasury, which spent billions of dollars bailing out the carmaker last year and now owns a large stake in it.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, February 22, 2010 at 9:44 am Link to this comment

Such is what Mussolini and Hitler thought.

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By bachu, February 20, 2010 at 11:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As long as they don’t show poor people on TV but Tiger Woods statement again and again, the oligarchs can do whatever they want.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, February 20, 2010 at 7:22 pm Link to this comment

The populace is getting enough.  It takes a long time for the populace to get enough and start the ball rolling, but woe when the ball starts rolling, there most likely won’t be anything left but a greasy spot and definitely a new dawn.

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By nemesis2010, February 20, 2010 at 4:19 pm Link to this comment

It’s incredible how Americans can’t put it all together and continue to tolerate the oligarchic dictates of CEOs, directors & board members, and the U.S. Congress. They all get to determine their own pay and benefits packages! Why can’t we have workers’ boards who get to determine pay and benefits packages at each corporation for those employed by the corporation? If it works for the Congress and the super-wealthy elite of the corporations why shouldn’t it work if everyone gets to determine their own pay and benefits? How about an automatic yearly cost-of-living increase that is tied to that of the Congress and like that of the Congress must be voted down in order NOT to be effected each year?

If it works for the dead-beats in government and corporations it has to be even better for the productive part of society! Why can’t corporations grant equal percentage pay and benefits increases to all workers and tied to that of the CEOs? If a CEO receives a 30% yearly increase in pay and benefits, workers should get a 30% increase also! The corporation needs workers much more than these over-priced college frat boy failures. Hell, a homeless drunken bum from any city alley can run a corporation into bankruptcy almost as quickly as these college educated failures and for a lot less money!

Think about it! The corporation hires a drunk off the street and the company remains solvent at least several months more than it would have with a multi-million dollar failure from Havard or Princeton. When the drunk runs the corporation into bankruptcy, he’s fired with a severance of three bottles of cheap rum instead of $50 million! A new drunk is found and promised $50 a week plus all the scotch he can drink and the cycle starts all over. Think of the savings! Hundreds of millions; plus the drunk won’t stand before cameras trying to convince us that he’s only doing god’s work! It’s a win-win situation!

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By Miko, February 20, 2010 at 1:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The important question is: did the CEO earn that salary?  Considering that by all rights the company should be bankrupt right now, but managed to survive because the executives convinced a corrupt White House to give them a bailout that directly harmed everyone in the country except for the stockholders of GM, I’d say that the executives earned their bonuses many times over.

This is not a reason to limit executive pay; this is a reason to kick Obama and every member of Congress that voted for this out of office and to follow up with a Constitutional amendment preventing Congress from passing corporate regulations, in order to make sure that something like this never happens again.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, February 20, 2010 at 12:11 pm Link to this comment

One more example of why we need legislation regarding pay caps for executives of all publicly traded companies.

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