Great news, everybody! The recession's over!

Huge increase in executive pay for America's top bosses

Chief executive pay has roared back after two years of stagnation and decline. America's top bosses enjoyed pay hikes of between 27 and 40% last year. This year's survey shows CEO pay packages have boomed: the top 10 earners took home more than $770m between them in 2010. As stock prices began to recover last year, the increase in CEO pay outstripped the rise in share value.

"Wages for everybody else have either been in decline or stagnated in this period, and that's for those who are in work," said Hodgson. "I had a feeling that we would see some significant increases this year. But 30-40% was something of a surprise." Bosses won in every area, with dramatic increases in pensions, payoffs and perks -- as well as salary.

2010 was a great year to lose your job as a CEO. Four of the 10 highest paid CEOs were retired or departing executives. Ronald Williams, former head of Aetna, a health insurer, exercised 2.4m options for a profit of $50.4m. Aetna's stock price declined by 70% from when Williams assumed the role of CEO in February 2006 until his retirement. At pharmacy chain CVS, Thomas Ryan made a $28m profit on his options. During Ryan's 13-year tenure as CEO, CVS Caremark's stock price decreased almost 54%.

Red money, blue money: The making of the 2012 campaign

A handful of so-called Super PACs, enabled to collect unlimited donations by the continued erosion of campaign finance regulations, are expected to rival the official campaign organizations in importance this election. In many cases, these groups are acting essentially as outside arms of the campaigns.

More than 80 percent of giving to Super PACs so far has come from just 58 donors, according to the Center for Responsive Politics analysis of the latest data, which covers the first half of 2011. The Republican groups have raised $17.6 million and the Democratic groups $7.6 million. Those numbers will balloon, with American Crossroads, the main Republican Super PAC, aiming to raise $240 million.)

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2 Responses:

  1. John Bloom says:

    Well, I guess the only question is: Are you doing your part for the recovery as supreme leader of the DNA Conglomerate by taking on the burden of a salary hike? Or are you doing something un-American and anti-capitalism like investing in your business?

  2. Fuck yeah capitalism!

    I sure wish I could get fired from a CEO job and come home with more than I'll ever make in my entire life.