Top Wall Street CEOs Averaged $29 Million a Year Before the Collapse

Thursday, December 31, 2009
E. Stanley O'Neal

The implosion of Wall Street last year didn’t come about overnight. It took years of risky investments and questionable decision-making, during which the heads of leading firms and banks earned substantial fortunes. From 2000-2007 these leaders made an average of $28.9 million a year—that’s 575 times the median family income in the United States for 2007, according to Public Citizen.

In the report Rewarding Failure, the non-profit group highlights a few executives who received even greater earnings, such as Richard Fuld, former CEO of Lehman Brothers (which went bankrupt), who made $246.3 million between 2005 and 2007. Another example cited is E. Stanley O’Neal, former CEO of Merrill Lynch (now a part of Bank of America), who was given a $161.5 million golden parachute upon his departure. O’Neal is now on the board of directors of Alcoa, while Fuld has joined a hedge fund called Matrix Advisors.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Bear Stearns and Lehman Top Executives Profited From Sinking Ships (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)


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