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By | July 26, 2010 45 Comments

Bank executives get ‘ill-advised’ bonuses, and keep them

Keep these two thoughts in mind as you read this article:

First, Dr. Robert Hare estimates that 1 percent of people would be diagnosed as psychopaths using his Psychopathy Checklist-Revised. However, Dr. Hare also estimates that 3 percent of corporate executives are psychopaths. That means there are three times as many psychopaths in corner offices than there are in the general population.

Second, you can’t get a psychopath to do anything by appealing to his or her conscience, morals or sense of shame. The only way to possibly influence psychopathic behavior is consequences (and sometimes that doesn’t work either).

Knowing this, I was angry and frustrated to read this story in the paper a few days ago: Pay czar will not fight banks on $1.6B in exec pay.

Financial meltdown

Remember the financial meltdown? Less than two years ago, the financial system of the United States was on the verge of collapse. To bail out big banks, insurance companies, and a few other gigantic companies, Congress approved $700 billion for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, late in 2008. Early in 2009, Congress passed restrictions on executive compensation at companies that received TARP money.

Why? Because while tax dollars were being used to prop up these financial companies, the financial companies turned around and paid more than $2 billion in bonuses to their highest earners.

Nearly 80 percent of that money was unmerited, according to Kenneth R. Feinberg, appointed to investigate the matter as the government’s special master for executive compensation. And what is he going to do about it?

Nothing.

Stuck holding the bag

Here’s how this story was reported on the Huffington Post:

Though acknowledging the massive payouts were “ill-advised” and exhibited “bad judgment” — some bankers were paid more than $10 million, he said — Feinberg refused to rule that any of the massive payouts went against the public interest.

“As a matter of fairness, to label these payments years later as contrary to the public interest, with all the consequences that might roll from that?” Feinberg asked. “No, I don’t think that would be right.”

Asked what consequences could arise from recouping public funds, Feinberg replied:

“The consequences might be lawsuits, private lawsuits — a huge threat if I made that finding. Congress might very well be more willing to intervene if there was such a finding. This might go on. There might be a new chapter. There still might be a new chapter — I don’t know.

“But I’m trying to minimize the likelihood that today’s decision will trigger another round now of investigations and litigation. I’ve tried to strike that balance.”

That balance Feinberg struck means bailed-out bankers get to keep their loot while taxpayers are left holding the bag.

So why didn’t Feinberg go after the guys who took home millions? Apparently, he was afraid of endangering the financial recovery. “Certain aspects of the financial system still confront fragility,” he said, according to the Associated Press. “I’m not looking to compound that fragility beyond what I thought was necessary.”

Shaming the banks

Feinberg thought that publicly shaming the banks was punishment enough. Plus, of the 17 banks that he identified as paying unmerited bonuses, 11 of them had already paid back the TARP money.

Well, if shaming is all that can be done, let’s shame them. Here they are, as identified by the New York Times:

Companies that paid excessive compensation, but have fully repaid their bailout money:

  • American Express
  • Bank of America
  • Bank of New York Mellon
  • Boston Private
  • Capital One Financial
  • Goldman Sachs
  • JPMorgan
  • Morgan Stanley
  • PNC Financial
  • US Bancorp
  • Wells Fargo

Companies that paid excessive compensation, but have not yet fully repaid their bailout money:

  • A.I.G.
  • Citigroup
  • CIT Group
  • M&T Bank
  • Regions Financial
  • SunTrust Banks

No consequences

I don’t know if any of the overpaid executives are psychopaths. But they certainly seem to feel overly entitled to take such huge payouts when their companies were failing and the entire economy was disintegrating. After all, they could have turned down the bonuses.

This scenario is so typical of psychopathic maneuvering. These people managed to back the entire economy into a corner. They got their money, and then, even when society viewed their greed as wrong, even when restitution was justified, the man who could do something decided that going after them was just too risky.  Either that, or it’s the good ol’ boys network again.

So the overpaid executives exploit their companies, exploit the taxpayers and exploit the economy, and suffer no consequences.

Sigh. It’s all so dishearteningly familiar.


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Frank Lee Speaking

Speaking of which:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1297576/BP-oil-spill-boss-Tony-Hayward-exits-10m-pension-pot.html

BP blunderer’s golden goodbye: Hayward exits with £10m pension pot

Wini

Frank Lee, it’s always about money with those evil ones. Back in June Hayward found it more beneficial for him, him, him (did I mention him?) to be at a yacht race watching his crew than doing anything productive … such as having his yacht sailing in the gulf while his crew scooped up the oil BP puked into the waters.

They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. (Fools giving other fools big bonuses).

1 John 4: 5

So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, (what happens to the evil fools of the world at the end of days)

Matthew 13: 49

Ox Drover

If Bob Hare thinks 3% of executives are psychopaths, wonder what the estimate for politicians and bureaucrats is? 75%???

Wini

Oxy, the majority of folks you are speaking about … that rise to the top of the dung heap are carnal thinkers … meaning they are of the world GIVING EVERYONE LIP SERVICE. They have no clue what 1 John 2:15 scriptures says …because they are living in darkness, there is no light within any of them. That’s why they do what they do. Take, take, take and do nothing for what they take.

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

1 John 2:15

Wini

Oxy, Tony Hayward belongs in Prison, along with others in PB. Why the folks in DC don’t get this is because they are just as crooked. They should tell Bernie Madoff to move over … he’s got a few cell mates taking up the cells next to him.

Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all [is] vanity.

Ecclesiastes 12:8

Meaning what man does while on earth and not believing in our Lord and Savior … emptiness, emptiness, emptiness ” nothing righteous about any of their doings .. all nonsense, no substance to how they think, what they do etc..

For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether [it be] good, or whether [it be] evil.

Ecclesiastes 12:14

Ox Drover

I agree there should be some executives from BP in prison, did you hear that they had DISABLED the alarms “so they wouldn’t wake people up with false alarms” (but there were lights that could have flashed) they also found that BP drilling rigs in OTHER AREAS HAD THE ALARMS DISABLED as well. 11 People died, maybe those alarms to detect gas might have saved them. Whoever made the decision to disable those alarms (not just in 1 but in multiple rigs) should go to prison for manslaughter!

The financial feeding frenzy that goes on at the big companies is bad enough, and those people ought to work on chain gangs, but the deaths of people because the big wigs want to cut costs, should be STOPPED.

I hate to go back to the thinking of French Revolution but it seems like the powers that be are saying about the rest of us “Let them eat cake.”

Off with their heads!

bluejay

Wini,

I can’t stand those commercials that BP puts out, having a male employee talking to the t.v. audience, telling us how he’s in charge of cleaning up the gulf, that he’s “a local” (having grown up in the area), eager to reach the affected areas (that need to be cleaned up). I watched a commercial yesterday morning, being totally skeptical of the employee’s sincerity. The commercial’s goal is to transform the public’s perception of BP, trying to convince us how pro-active this company is in putting an end to the fall-out from the oil spill – a bunch of b.s. I am not impressed with how BP handled the oil spill, convincing me that we shouldn’t do offshore drilling, wanting to prevent another catastrophe from happening.

Wini

BlueJay, last night on CNN they showed us who was cleaning up the gulf. The US Coast guard! They have tankers on the waters with their crews on board … as well as aircraft (also US pilots) flying overhead because the oil spills are easier to detect from above than being on the same level (ship on water). Then there are all the folks that are on land, scooping up the sand filed oil slicks, the private owners of boats doing their part. I didn’t see anything about PB doing something for the gulf except spending millions of dollars putting out those ads on TV.

Ox Drover

Do you remember about a month after the spill started BP was going to pay a big BONUS to their people and they ended up canceling it and putting the money into a clean up and pay back the people who lost their jobs fund?

I’m like you guys, I think the commercials stink to high heaven. They keep saying they are going “clean it up” and “fix” it, but there are some things you can’t FIX….an oil spill is one of them, another one is a psychopath…I’m sure there are also others, but those are two I can think of right now…you can’t unring a bell or soak up oil once it has been spilled.

breckgirl

This stuff is all about the collusion between Big Business and Big Government… If the people would join together and oppose all government regulation and intervention in our lives – we – the non S/P/N’s would be able to live in a peaceful world where we exchanged what we needed with one another in a peaceful way.
The Federal Reserve Act (which is un-Constitutional to begin with) and the growth of Government which is manipulated behind the scenes by Big Business at the expense of the middle class is destroying us from the inside.
Democrat versus Republican is a shell game to keep us distracted while the thieves pilfer our savings – the value of our life’s work. The problem is people who think Government can give them something and so vote accordingly – Government can only ultimately take. Look at the British Health Care System imploding now. People here voted for what that is – rationing BASIC SERVICES. Loss of choice in the name of giving everyone something, they cannot afford – we lose the ability to give anyone anything of value. The idea was so no one would be turned away – right? We already have a law on the books saying no one can be turned away folks.

ErinBrock

We, as a society are stoopid……we are trained to believe what we are told….it’s the ‘hope’ thing.
If we don’t have hope…..what else is there….TRUTH!

We assume the truth is being told to us…..
It’s NOT!

But…..noone asks the ‘next’ question. We settle for the first ‘truth’….we are told.

It’s the same in our personal lives…..
We want to ‘believe’.

We can’t always!

console12

Erin Brock, it’s much deeper than the hope thing…

It’s the suspension of responsibility. We love it when we don’t have
to think about things. We give authority to anyone who seems like an “expert” because it’s easier.

It’s not so much about wanting to believe, as wanting to have all that tension relieved of not knowing what the hell is going on…we’ll take any answer with a smile because it grants us a false sense of security.

Security is an illusion, it doesn’t exist in nature.

ErinBrock

Yep…..it’s ‘hope’.

kim frederick

Hi EB. How ya doing girl? I can’t chat long…gotta run out for potting soil and miracle grow. Will be back later, though.

ErinBrock

Yeah…..might want to grab extra pots too!

I’m doing okay…..thanks!
Still plodding along on the road of life…….
And you?????

teacher123

BP is one of the tremendously big and powerful British owned companies that are running the world. It is more than a shame of what they did and the extremely slow response. Well it isn’t their shores that are being decimated and covered in oil. I cannot believe that we as a country are not more outraged at this whole affair. We should immediately turn away from offshore drilling, and our dependence on oil to begin with. Iceland, a country we should be learning from gets nearly all of its energy from renewable sources (geothermal). And they passed laws that all vehicles must be converted from gasoline/diesel to hydrogen power by a certain year (2020). You want to stimulate the economy? Lets put people to work doing these things, and building a new infrastructure to support high speed magnetic trains/subways that use considerably less energy than everyone driving their own vehicles. Sorry this is so long, but about to be longer still as here are the lyrics to Bruce Hornsby’s Look Out Any Window
There’s a man workin’ in a field
See’s the rain and it’s burning
He’s saying this can’t be real
As he sees the color of the fields turning
Far away the men too busy getting rich to care
Close their eyes and let it all out into the air
Hoping nobody else would care

Look out any window
Look out any open door
Look out any window
See what’s going on in the world around you

There’s a man working on a boat
Pulling lines from the water
Just trying to stay afloat
Filling the nets is getting harder
Far away they bend the rules so secretly
Close their eyes and let it all out into the sea
Hoping nobady else would see

Look out any window
Look out any open door
Look out any window
See what’s going on in the air around you

Far away too many leaders let them get their way
Close their eyes and let it all out into the bay
Say they’ll clear it up another day

Look out any window
Look out any open door
Look out any window
See what’s going on in the air around you

Look out, look out for the big boys
telling you everything they’re gonna do
Look out, look out for the fat cat builder man
turning this into a wasteland
Look out, look out for the back room boys
that say the smokw is gonna blow away
Look out, look out for the men who say it’s okay
sitting in a building far away

bluejay

Wini, OxDrover, and others

When the oil kept gushing day-to-day, you’d think about the ocean life that would be affected by the gunk that was now in the waters. I could not understand why it took so long for BP to get the site capped – meanwhile, so many creatures had to ingest that crap, killing them. It’s ridiculous, making many people irate, especially when we saw the head of BP participating in a yachting race. What fun – all the affected ocean creatures appreciating his genuine concern over their plight. Meanwhile, people from all over (who have a heart) would volunteer their time, putting forth the effort to clean up the mess, tending to anything and everything that was hit, being the manpower. They worked while the head of BP was in a boat race. This makes a lot of sense.

Ox Drover

I have come to the conclusion that “big business” and “big government” (all of them not just a few) are run by and for psychopaths….the rest of us are the victims.

We are the “milk cows and the beef cows” of the govt/business…they use us, feed us sometimes, milk us, and when we get where we can’t produce any more, butcher us.

In the meantime, they tell us we have it good, the manger has some hay in it, the crib has some corn…but you know, they better figure out that if you don’t feel the cow you aren’t gonna get much milk. And if you don’t feed the steer, the meat’s gonna be stringy.

The problem is though, just like in the book, “Animal Farm,” you look around and you can’t tell the pigs from the farmers, they all look alike in the end.

A communist once was asked how you pen up wild pigs. He said first you scatter corn on the ground, and they discover it and come to eat. Then you put up one side of a pen fence and scatter some more corn, and each time you put up more fence as they get used to it, eventually you close the gate. When people think they can get something for nothing, it usually involves a pen in the end.

We have let the businesses and government pen us in since time started and the first man declared himself king by might of his sword. Now the “merchant princes” are not ashamed of what they do and they get rich selling guns, and children starve for lack of food….and football players and musicians are paid multi-millions, but there is 20% unemployment.

Life isn’t fair, and not everyone cares for their fellow men. And, yes, Donna, it is familiar and I doubt it is ever going to change a lot. There have always been predator and prey. One gets fat while another starves. Life really isn’t fair.

breckgirl

Teacher – I prefer my car to the train. I have had more than one predator watch me on my route and then stalk me – in my vehicle I do not have those problems.
Secondly the whole global warming thing – we are running out of oil thing is a farce. I worked for a think tank and was privy to vast amounts of research – and I learned how to read the data and ignore the hysteria. There is in fact issues with our skies as they are being polluted on purpose to prevent global warming and instead man is messing with mother nature in really idiotic ways. We could have been drilling in shallow water or on land and not had these problems but the “greenie” (aka leftists using the environment as an issue to gain political control) won’t have any of it.
Think of it this way folks – the government always seems to be shrieking CRISIS – CRISIS – over there over there – give us your money and control over your decisions and we will fix it – ONLY THEY NEVER DO – they just fabricate another crisis to gain ever more control. IF the elected officials who are just the pawns of the unions and the BIG MONEY MEN FIXED IT they would not need our money or social control of us anymore now would they?
When they come to our aid they are oh so solicitous and concerned until they have us in their grip and then – no more – look at Britains Public Health System – rationing basic services now – lovely – Hope and change eh… ?

ErinBrock

This part of the journey SUCKS! On high alert…..all the time….
And the thing that scares me is……There must be a reason…

Why can’t these spaths just drive off a cliff together…..and we can all live with peace.

Wini

ErinBrock, you sound like me … calling 911 when you hear gun shots. Just to rest your mind at ease, most police departments do NOT send out patrol cars and officers in uniforms any longer. They send out all the undercover cops that look like street bums lurking in your area. Police departments learned years ago, never to send out the blues … because the evil ones watch out for them, whereas, they have no clue who’s in jeans and a T-shirt.

Just know, they are doing their jobs, you just don’t know about it.

Peace.

ErinBrock

This scares me……it wasnt’ like this last year…..the one time we called when a man was on my deck jiggling my sliding glass door….it took em 25 min to get there…..I watched the guy jiggle for about 12 minutes (I was on the other side of door)…..and walk around property…..then run off….into the forest…..and get picked up by another car……15 minutes later….then the cops showed up!!!!!

and it takes that long?????
Not right!

super chic

EB, that would really freak me out!! Your son does sound like Rambo Jr except the part about mom “get back in the house” !!! Hopefully one day soon you will be able to step away from the high alert. I read you post regarding the phone call about talking to the ex’s friend about renting the jet ski (you handled him so well !!) and the other friend who thought you were dead… unbelievable!!! You said the spath is going to court soon, hope he gets the maximum punishment!! Let us know if you find out what the screaming and bang was all about!

ErinBrock

Yeah….Rambo didn’t have a dead mother ordering him inside!

Wini

ErinBrock, it’s time you mozzied on down to town and bought yourself a nice shiny shotgun. Point it up … and shoot. Just make sure the perp is dropped inside your thresh hold.

Quantum Solace

I will ask the same [rhetorical] question here as I asked on the NYT when the article first appeared: How can you shame those who have no shame?

This NYT article was one of the biggest jokes I’ve seen in a long time. And I’ve seen a lot of jokes in the last few years.

bulletproof

how can you sit down to dinner with a goldfish..duh….??

bluejay

Quantum Solace,

How true! We can’t shame those who have no shame. Is our society (or world) going to pot? I remember my father saying when I was a teenager (we were sitting in our den watching the news) that our country’s leaders were settling for mediocrity.

Annie

Good article Donna. You’re right – it is disheartening.

I have to agree with Oxy that “Big Government” and “Big Business” are often run by and for corporate psychopaths. That 3% carries an influence that’s more than their weight when they set pro-“P” corporate and government policy – as in Donna’s article.

Re: “No Consequences”: it seems the only people within these organizations to pay consequences for their actions are the whistleblowers: http://www.thebigmoney.com/articles/judgments/2010/05/07/silencing-whistleblowers?page=full

Ox Drover

Dear ErinB,

I suggest that you sit down with junior and have a come to “hay-suse” meeting with him about going outside with a crow bar when you have heard gun fire! DUMB, now I know he is not the brightest bulb in the lamp, but he needs to overcome his testosterone on this one.

I would tell you to get a gun, but I imagine you couldn’t keep it out of JUNIOR’s hands and that might be a problem. Or if you do get one, don’t let Junior know about it, get one that you can keep hidden and don’t try to go outside to use it, stay INSIDE til the cops get there no matter how long they take. Only bring the gun out if you are going to pull the trigger and at that time it won’t matter if Jr. sees it or not cause it will save your arse.

You might also consider burgler bars. What a way to live, huh? LOL

ErinBrock

There are just certain things I refuse to accomodate……and i guess these occurances are the price I pay for staying in my paradise.

kim frederick

Sorry EB. I missed it. What happened last night?

SageeGirl

ErinBrock,

Do we live close to each other? The other day I saw where you mentioned a bear living on your property. We have had tons of them- one walked down my driveway at 1:30 this afternoon. The family of four just split up- thank God- because I have been so afraid of walking my dog with all of them around.

Last year I was charged twice by the mother of 2 cubs, but she has not been around this year- only the mother of 3. This group had one male and 2 females, and the mother was really muscular and big. I got some good photos of them very close-up…inches away through the garage window… You also mentioned living in a wealthy mountain community… So do I… 4,118′ elevation… In fact, my username is “very close to home”…If you live near here, that number will ring a bell!

Uhhh, and it takes 35 minutes to get here from the nearest “town”… They told me there were budget cuts this year too, that’s why they won’t charge the “stalker” with much of anything…

They probably took 25 minutes to get there since they were not “in town”… That would be a coincidence, if you were near here!

ErinBrock

🙂

ErinBrock

🙂

kim frederick

Okay, EB. I’ve actually never used that little function. I’ll try it.

SageeGirl

ErinBrock:

Oh, no. You must be “out west” as we say here in the southeast!

Funny how many coincidences there are though! I was going to offer to be there for you if you ever needed anything, but it would take me a couple days to get there! But, that can be arranged too!

Who is Brianna Dennison?

Buttons

EB in Washoe territory………..now, I am truly envious. I’m in GAS territory, dammit!

ErinBrock

The past few years it seems like the wild wild west!!
🙂

pollyannanomore

I was just about to mention the BP Golden Handshake debacle.

I am speechless with outrage at the audacity of this payment after so much scrutiny and coverage of the disaster by the media of the world.

He should be jailed as a mass murderer = how many countless animals and birds have been maimed, injured and killed by this man? Yet he gets millions and another nicely paid position in the organisation.

In my line of work if you make a couple of minor muckups – you get fired. Why should it be different at the upper reaches of management?

Sarah999

The most successful psychopaths wear a “very good” mask . . so how can anyone say 3% or 5%. . . of CEO’s etc are psychopaths. The successful ones, haven’t been exposed. I believe that it’s more like 3% of CEO’s are NOT psychopaths. (but that’s just me . . . . and a few others!).

Ox Drover

Polly and Sarah000,

THE policy for BP is to SILENCE the alarms for fire and bad gasses, not just on that ONE rig, but on several that I have heard about recnetly so what would you do to a person/company who turned off the fire alarms in say their chain of theaters or chain of anything, and then when there was a fire and 11 people died? You would charge the person who made that decision with murder, and anyone who knew about it and did nothing with conspiracy and put them in prison.

Instead they get 10 million $ a hand shake and a pension and moved to SIBERIA! Man, what a punishment.

psychopathic company culture run by psychopaths! But no one goes to jail or prison over it….it’.s just business.

ErinBrock

Here is a good artice, based on the workplace, yet it applies to any toxic personality in our lives.
Exerpts from the article by Warren Camp esq.

http://www.highconflictinstitute.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=138&Itemid=101

HOW TO RECOGNIZE A HIGH CONFLICT JOB CANDIDATE: TIPS FOR SHARPENING YOUR “HIRING RADAR”
The best pre-employment predictor of high conflict personality employees remains informed appreciative inquiry and engaging in meaningful, reflective listening.

Most high conflict personality employees exhibit the following common behaviors (Eddy 2008):

1. Rigid and uncompromising thinking.

2. Unable to accept or heal from loss.

3. Negative emotions dominate thinking.

4. Unable to reflect on their own behavior.

5. Difficulty empathizing with others.

6. Preoccupied with blaming others.

The following are key questions designed to elicit these behaviors in prospective employees:

1. Why did you leave your last job?

2. What about the job before that?

3. How did you get along with your co-workers?

4. Tell me about a time when you had a conflict with a co-worker and explain how you resolved it?

5. Imagine two times you had difficulty getting co-workers or employees to use your very good ideas.
Tell me exactly how you handled them to get them to use yours ideas?

Beware of answers such as:

“They didn’t understand me”

“There was someone who had it in for me.

”RULE OF THUMB: REMAIN SKEPTICAL AND PROBE DEEPER

Ox Drover

Dear EB,

Great link and post!!! If we would interview prospective lovers as well as we would a prospective employee we might have had better success in our love live. 🙂 LOL

skylar

I haven’t read many of the comments yet, but I do want to mention that all the money that was paid back, was paid in devalued dollars, because the printing of more money just devalues the currency. So they got 2008 dollars but paid back 2010 dollars. Sick. Even with interest, does it really add up? or is it just an interest free loan?

Oxy,
I saw your post on the pigs and farmers. You are so right. That is the one thing that makes me most grateful to the sociopath: I can now see sociopathy in our government and corporations and my family. Everywhere and everyone that seeks to gain control, the root is sociopathy. Drama and control — two huge red flags.

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