WALL STREET FAT CATS wreck economy
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grov·el (grvl, grv-)
intr.v. grov·eled also grov·elled, grov·el·ing also grov·el·ling, grov·els also grov·els
1. To behave in a servile or demeaning manner; cringe.
Obama: I 'don't begrudge people success or wealth'
CAPTIONBy Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP
President Obama -- the scourge of what he calls unearned Wall Street bonuses -- says he doesn't mind people who get rich through good work.
"I, like most of the American people, don't begrudge people success or wealth," Obama said in an interview Tuesday with Bloomberg BusinessWeek. "That's part of the free market system. I do think that the compensation package that we've seen over the last decade at least have not matched up always to performance."
Obama was responding to a question about new bonuses for Wall Street types Lloyd Blankfein ($9 million) and Jamie Dimon ($17 million). Obama said, "I know both those guys" and "they're very savvy businessmen."
Obama's response raised a few eyebrows, and questions over whether he is now hedging on the Wall Street bonus issue after taking heat from the business community about his rhetoric.
Not so, says the White House, adding that Obama was talking about wealth in general, not bonuses.
You be the judge -- here's the transcript of the conversation in question.
Q: Let's talk bonuses for a minute: Lloyd Blankfein, $9 million; Jamie Dimon, $17 million. Now, granted, those were in stock and less than what some had expected. But are those numbers okay?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, look, first of all, I know both those guys. They're very savvy businessmen. And I, like most of the American people, don't begrudge people success or wealth. That's part of the free market system. I do think that the compensation packages that we've seen over the last decade at least have not matched up always to performance. I think that shareholders oftentimes have not had any significant say in the pay structures for CEOs.
Q: Seventeen million dollars is a lot for Main Street to stomach.
THE PRESIDENT: Listen, $17 million is an extraordinary amount of money. Of course, there are some baseball players who are making more than that who don't get to the World Series either. So I'm shocked by that as well. I guess the main principle we want to promote is a simple principle of "say on pay," that shareholders have a chance to actually scrutinize what CEOs are getting paid. And I think that serves as a restraint and helps align performance with pay. The other thing we do think is the more that pay comes in the form of stock that requires proven performance over a certain period of time as opposed to quarterly earnings is a fairer way of measuring CEOs' success and ultimately will make the performance of American businesses better.
(Posted by David Jackson)