Richest 1% Battle the Richest One-Hundredth of a Percent
Friday, May 18, 2012
The Rich and the Super-Rich (book by Ferdinand Lundberg)
In what some are calling the “Shareholder Spring,” the owners of large corporations and banks are letting CEOs know that they’re getting paid too much compensation through so-called Say-on-Pay votes.
It’s a battle of shareholders, or the top 1% of earners, versus chief executives, or the top one-hundredth of one percent (.01%).
The most prominent example so far of shareholders voting against outrageous CEO pay packages involved Citigroup, where CEO Vikram Pandit’s $14.8 million comp plan was voted down, 55–45.
A similar shock hit CEO Thomas Joyce at Knight Capital this month.
Other CEO and executive packages have survived close tallies in Say-on-Pay votes, including those at Bank of New York Mellon (41% against), NYSE Euronext (43%), and Lazard an investment bank (49%),.
The top 1% reportedly controls nearly 40% of the nation’s stock market wealth, while the top .01% represents about 15,000 people who earn a minimum of $5.5 million a year.
In 2010, the last year for which figures are available, the richest .01% took in 3.3% of the nation’s personal income. As recently as 1985, that share was less than 1%. Their dominance peaked in 2007 at 3.53%, the largest share since 1916. Meanwhile, the richest 1% haven’t done that badly, hauling in 17.42% in 2010 compared to only 9.13% in 1986.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
To Learn More:
The Battle Over CEO Pay: When the Top 1 Percent Take on the Top 0.01 Percent (by Salvatore Babones, Truthout)
Citi Redux? Investors to Give Say on Pay at Goldman, JPMorgan (by Aaron Elstein, Crain’s New York)
Upset about the Richest 1%? The Top .000003% Own $25 Trillion (by David Wallechinsky and Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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