Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sometimes the Rich Have To Settle For a Tad Less

Then there was this nugget from a couple of days ago:

Disney withdraws executive tax benefit amid criticism

Just days before investors would have their say on Walt Disney Co.’s executive pay, the entertainment giant changed the contracts of its top executives to remove a generous perk that had come under fire from an influential shareholder advisory firm.

The company said it would no longer pay the taxes on any severance package for Chief Executive Robert A. Iger and three other senior executives in the event they lost their jobs in a sale or merger of the Burbank entertainment company.

Sometimes the corruption becomes so ludicrous that even the Mouse has to back off.

"It's interesting that they ended up caving," Steven Hall, managing director for executive compensation consultant Steven Hall & Partners, said about Disney. "We were surprised by how violently they reacted against ISS. It was the kind of thing companies gripe about in boardrooms but don't do anything about."

Hodgson said Disney has been working hard to improve the public perception of its executive compensation since the days of former Chief Executive Michael D. Eisner, who in fiscal 1998 reaped $576 million when he exercised stock options he had accumulated for years.

There is no reason, none, for stockholders to pay richly compensated execs' taxes. I would love to hear why this is a good thing for Diz Co. to do. I mean, if executives bail out of the corporate aircraft on their Golden Parachutes, they should at least have the good grace to pay their own freaking taxes, shouldn't they?

On the other hand, I can see why Bob Iger and the other guys getting the platinum benefits might have "reacted violently" about Investor Shareholder Services mucking up the sweet deal by recommending a vote against it. But honest to God, what arguments could they put forth defending it?

None that wouldn't make them look anything other than self-serving. A big fat paycheck isn't enough. Somebody else has to pay the taxes on it, too.


Anonymous said...

Maybe the firm is thinking that a merger or sale may happen?

Anonymous said...

I suspect that by paying "their taxes" they actually found huge corporate loopholes to not pay hardly any taxes for these special people...

Anonymous said...

No loopholes. Just the people in charge deciding among themselves that the taxes on their windfall profits should be paid by the shareholders. Why would they need a loophole, when it's perfectly legal for CEOs and corporate leaders to put themselves above shareholders and the companies they run.

I think "Let them eat cake" was Iger's quote when first asked if it was fair to the shareholders.

Obviously, Iger et al. won't do as good a job now that they've had this perk taken away.

Anonymous said...

That's right. How will they attract the best management talent, if they'll have to pay their taxes?

rufus said...

So the middle class has to pay the taxes of the top 1%? Why I'm I not surprided? What a bunch of retards WE are, for letting this kind of shit happen, without putting much resistance. When is the middle class in the US gonna wake up?

Anonymous said...

I predict a spike in pitchfork and torch sales if this kind of shit doesn't stop.

donthreadonMe said...

You sound like what an english loyalist would have sounded back in 1776...

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