Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Executive Pay: Banking Edition

When Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit resigned, Matt Yglesias checked the record of Citibank stock under his tenure and discovered that it had fallen by 88 percent:
I dare say that presiding over the destruction of 88 percent of the value of an enterprise is a job many of us could probably pull off. And yet Pandit managed to earn tens of millions of dollars for his trouble, so obviously he's a much sharper businessman than the average person.
Pandit was at the helm when Citi nearly collapsed during the 2008 crisis, requiring the most urgent government bailout of all the big banks. Pandit got a bonus for steering the company through the crisis.

Update: I just noticed that John Maynard Keynes already explained this 70 years ago:
A sound banker, alas, is not one who foresees danger and avoids it, but one who, when he is ruined, is ruined in a conventional way along with his fellows, so that no one can really blame him.

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