Last week it was reported that, despite our anemic economy and persistent joblessness, the CEOs at 200 big companies last year got a 23 percent pay raise, with a median income of $9.6 million, while stock option awards increased by 38 percent. America’s CEOs now average some 320 times the income of their workers, compared with 20 times as much back in the 1950s, and even today in some other countries, like Japan.
For one week, the Viacom CEO, Philippe Dauman topped the list of legalized looters with total compensation of $84.5 million for 2010. Now it is reported that the chairman and CEO of Simon Property Group – the country’s largest shopping mall owner – got an astounding one-time payout of company shares worth $120 million to stay with the company until 2019. Of course, there was little danger that David Simon would jump ship. He’s the son of the company founder and already owns 11 percent of the equity in the company, as well as $24 million in compensation for last year. I wonder how much his secretary makes?