Friday, September 26, 2008

$20M for 17 days of work

Who wouldn't want to earn over one million dollars PER DAY? That's exactly what Alan H. Fishman, CEO of now seized bank conglomerate Washington Mutual has received for, well, doing nothing.

Fishman was brought in to run Washington Mutual exactly 17 days ago - or 17 days before their seizure by J.P. Morgan-Chase. 17 days ago, on September 8th, he received a hiring bonus of $7.5M - then upon his termination (you know, when the bank collapsed?) he was granted an "immediate" cash severance of $11.6M. Fishman also received a portion of his guaranteed annual bonus which was set at $1M - likely prorated out to the 17 days he actual worked - or almost $50,000. Include the 612,500 shares of stock Mr. Fishman was awarded - free of charge to him - by Washington Mutual on September 10th (per yahoo finance). These shares are likely to rebound, from the current price of $0.16, before all is said and done - and all thanks to the government's intervention we won't have to worry about Alan H. Fishman and his future.

And what happened before these 17 days? Who was CEO then? Well, none other than Kerry K. Killinger - who had been CEO from 2002-until 17 days ago. His compensation between 2002-2007 was $54M - but what about his severance package? Obviously, no one would ever be able to survive on the $54M earned in only 5 years - ah, but not to fret.

Mr. Killinger received a severance package worth $17.1M: a lump sum of $16.5M thanks to a clause in his employment agreement that promises him this lump sum (totaling 3 times his annual compensation) and $5.8M (worth of assets as priced at $13.61 per share) came from immediate vesting of restricted stock he had been awarded since 2002. Mr. Killinger currently owns 315,662 shares in Washington Mutual, and just like Mr. Fishman above, he will only benefit as the stock price rebounds.

I'm sure the government bailing out these corporations has good intentions, but I still can't help but feel like the rich are the only people that will benefit from the bailout. The rest of us will be left holding the bag - never mind that Mr. Fishman and Mr. Killinger combined can pay off approximately 185 - $200,000 mortgages with their severance packages alone. Mr. Fishman with the potential to pay off 100 of those mortgages by himself after only 17 days worth of work.

No comments: