Welcome to Conservative America Where Wealth is Rewarded and Work is Punished
The Wall Street Journal noted this week that CEO pay lagged behind profits and productivity last year, mirroring a trend that has been occurring with workers’ wages for decades. But even that slight modicum of moderation regarding executive compensation evidently didn’t extend to Bank of America, which gave CEO Brian Moynihan a $7.5 million pay package — six times as much as he made in 2010 — following a year in which the company’s stock plummeted:
Bank of America gave its CEO a pay package worth $7.5 million last year, six times as large as the year before. It happened while the company’s stock lost more than half its value and the bank lost its claim as the biggest in the country.
The package for CEO Brian Moynihan included a salary of $950,000, a $6.1 million stock award and about $420,000 worth of use of company aircraft and tax and financial advice.
For those keeping score, Bank of America’s stock dropped 58 percent in 2011 and the bank surrendered its title as the nation’s largest to JP Morgan Chase. A good chunk of the stock award was actually given to Moynihan for the bank’s 2010 performance, when it lost money.
In addition to seeing its stock tank, Bank of America has also been, according to a whistleblower suit, intentionally blocking troubled homeowners from receiving mortgage aid. The whistleblower alleges that BofA misled borrowers about their eligibility for federal mortgage aid programs and that “the bank and its agents routinely pretended to have lost homeowners’ documents.” (But remember, Bank of America will modify your mortgage as long as you erase all the mean things you’ve been saying about it on Twitter.)
BofA has also been tied up in the foreclosure fraud scandal, and just a few months ago paid $335 million to settle charges that its subsidiary discriminated against minorities in its lending. If this is how much Moynihan gets after that sort of year, what will he receive if the bank actually has a good one?
While financial reform passed by Democrats and President Obama does not micro-manage businesses to the point where reform can limit CEO pay, it does address regulation of some of Wall Street's worse abuses like defrauding regular working Americans. This would be the financial reform that conservatives have pulled every obstructionist trick to stop from being implemented. Why? Because they see CEOs like Brian Moynihan as their base of support. Conservatives figure if they protect the financial elite the financial elite will look out for them.
CEOs like Moynihan are the people that Sen Scott Brown(R-MA) considers his best friends.