The golden parachute survives, and it survives especially on bankrupt
Wall Street. I supposed you wondered, just as I did, whether the
executives who had gotten millions in pay while Wall Street was paved
with gold would also get their unpaid bonuses and pensions, most of
which were contrived to elude prompt payment of taxes, after Wall
Street was turned to dust. It appears that they will, and that it
would be at pre-bust rates.
The bailout law took a stab at preventing this, while Secretary Paulson winked at the executives in order to get them to sign their institutions on to being rescued. Alas, his wink has more power than the compensation restrictions passed by the Congress.
This is made abundantly clear in a revealing story by Ellen E. Schultz in this morning's Wall Street Journal, "investigative journalism" at its best.
The fact is that, after the mortgage holders have been screwed and the stockholders shafted, the architects and plumbers of this flood of bad paper will be able to keep not only their boats in East Hampton but East Hampton, itself.
A bit of anxiety the former masters of the universe will doubtless have. They might even be a bit chintzy with their kids. And I've noticed that in the charities with which I work they aren't answering my calls or, those who are, have already delayed delayed their pledges or cut their promises.