While America's unemployment rate continues to climb, the fat cat chief executives are cashing in. In fact, they are making money off the jobless.
Research released by the left leaning Institute for Policy Studies found that the CEOs who sacked the most workers took the home the biggest pay rises. By sacking workers, they cut costs which drove up their profits which increased their bonuses.
"In 2009, the CEOs who slashed their payrolls the deepest took home 42 percent more compensation than the year's chief executive pay average for S&P 500 companies. Most careful analysts of the high-finance meltdown that ushered in the Great Recession have concluded that excessive executive compensation played a prime causal role. Outrageously high rewards gave executives an incentive to behave outrageously, to take the sorts of reckless risks that would eventually endanger our entire economy," the Institute says.
The Institute found that the average CEO on its list of the 50 layoff leaders made $12 million in 2009 compared to the average $8.5 million that CEOs at S&P 500 companies received. The average CEO on the list announced 10,627 layoffs at his or her company between November 2008, and April 2010.
In other words, chief executives cashed in on layoffs. Just the sort of stuff that is fuelling the populist anger sweeping America now.