10% of American Business Elites Routinely Steal Money
by Matt Stoller, Sun Jul 16, 2006 at 09:24:52 AM EDT
I put up a post on Lieberman getting lots of contributions from CEOs, and though I didn't write that this meant anything in itself, commenters were quick to defend big business as an institution and say that CEOs have the right to donate money, just like anyone else. I find that technically true, but laughably naive.
What Barry Ritholz blogged about the other day (from the Wall Street Journal) shows that CEOs and top executives are not like anyone else. They routinely steal huge sums of money from their shareholders and get away with it.
A Wall Street Journal analysis shows how some companies rushed, amid the post-9/11 stock-market decline, to give executives especially valuable options. A review of Standard & Poor's ExecuComp data for 1,800 leading companies indicates that from Sept. 17, 2001, through the end of the month, 511 top executives at 186 of these companies got stock-option grants. The number who received grants was 2.6 times as many as in the same stretch of September in 2000, and more than twice as many as in the like period in any other year between 1999 and 2003.
10% of the top 1800 companies in America ripped off shareholders in the wake of 9/11. Economic populism works when business and political elites are corrupt. That is the case right now. CEOs and top executives are not to be trusted, they have a basic greedy mindset that has nothing to do with capitalism and everything to do with selfish betrayal of the free market.
Oh, and as an aside, let me point out that the idea that Democratic consultants couldn't compete if they had 'real accountability' and had corporate clients is flawed. Most of them do have corporate clients, a lot of corporate clients in fact. And there's no accountability there either.
It's not just the American political system that is rotten, my friends.