Corporate Meritocracy is Rubbish

By Ryan McGreal
Published March 18, 2008

So much for executive bonuses being tied to company performance:

This might have been one of Wall Street's most dismal years in a decade, but that hasn't stopped bonus cheques from rising an average of 14 per cent.

Four of the biggest U.S. investment banks - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and Bear Stearns Cos. - will pay out about $49.6 billion US in compensation this year. Of that, bonuses are traditionally estimated to represent 60 per cent, or almost $30 billion US.

Yes, that would be the same Bear Stearns Co. that just went belly-up and had to be bailed out by the US Federal Reserve in a last-ditch attempt to forestall a wholesale collapse in the securities industry.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan wrote a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. His articles have also been published in The Walrus, HuffPost and Behind the Numbers. He maintains a personal website, has been known to share passing thoughts on Twitter and Facebook, and posts the occasional cat photo on Instagram.


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By highwater (registered) | Posted March 18, 2008 at 14:22:31

At least he wasn't fiddling while Rome burned. He was playing bridge.

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By beancounter (registered) | Posted March 18, 2008 at 20:44:30

"bailed out by the US Federal Reserve".

Would that be the U. S. taxpayers?

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By Joe H (anonymous) | Posted March 18, 2008 at 21:37:39

Yet another example of the rich getting richer. Meanwhile, these are the guys that ruthlessly cut employees to make the stock market love them, and wonders why morale is so low and the amount of work performed isn't the same as before. Every executive that runs a company into the ground should be required to give up every dollar they own and live in low income housing.

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By David (anonymous) | Posted April 25, 2008 at 16:04:47

Hard to remember a time when the "working stiff" felt more like a sucker, not only to big business but even more to their own government. But what is worse is that the post 9/11 era, and the now collapsing integrity of the USA seems to have ushered-in a total shamlessness on the part of govt. It feels more like we are governed by a renegade criminal syndicate.

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