Execs Were Paid $3B to Lay Credit Crisis Foundation

Wall Street chieftains were well rewarded for risks they took in 2003-07
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 26, 2008 5:45 PM CDT
Execs Were Paid $3B to Lay Credit Crisis Foundation
Former Bear Stearns hedge fund manager Ralph Cioffi, exits Brooklyn federal court following a scheduled hearing, Friday, July 18, 2008, in New York.    (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)

More than $3 billion was paid to the chief executives of the five biggest financial firms on Wall Street in the run-up to the credit crisis, Bloomberg reports. While supervising bad mortgage-related credit bets that eventually brought the financial system to its knees, Merrill Lynch’s Stanley O’Neal took in $172 million in 2003-07, while Bear Stearns’ James Cayne took in $161 million.

More number-crunching reveals:

  • The $3.1 billion paid to execs was about three times the price JP Morgan paid for Bear Stearns in June.
  • Goldman Sachs was most generous with its top players, paying out $859 million over that span.
  • Henry Paulson was among those benefiting from Goldman largesse, taking in $111 million before becoming Treasury Secretary.
  • Bear Stearns was next at $609 million.
  • With $93 billion in net income, the firms’ average pay per employee was $353,089.
(Read more CEO stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.