This isn't a list of just the highest paid CEOs. Rather, it covers the CEOs who are making too much compared with other CEOs in their industries or if their companies' profits are taken into account. So it does include Apple CEO Tim Cook, "By far the nation's highest paid CEO" with total compensation of $378 million, the bulk of it in Apple shares. But it also includes Ian Cumming of Leucadia National. His $29.3 million in compensation might be peanuts compared with Cook's $378 million, but Apple is at least a profitable company. Leucadia National's profits dropped 99 percent last year and its stock dropped by 21 percent, yet Cumming got a 555 percent raise. The one comfort is that since most of it was in stock options, Cumming's future wealth is at least somewhat tied to his lousy management. But I think most of us, let's say somewhere around 99 percent, would agree that getting a 555 percent raise when your company's profits are plunging counts as being overpaid.
So what's missing? Other than the obvious answer that a list 10 CEOs long necessarily leaves off a lot of overpaid CEOs, what about the Mitt Romneys of the world? Here's a guy who hasn't been a CEO in 10 years (that's right, since 2002), and, call it investments, call it a retirement agreement, call it what you want, he's still pulling in millions every year from Bain. How many Mitt Romneys has our fucked-up economy by and for the 1 percent produced, people who pull in tens of millions a year without doing a damn thing but don't make it on lists of the most overpaid CEOs because they're retired or just ... rich and that's how it works, so shut up about it already, you envious class warrior. But again, 99 percent of us would probably agree that $20 million a year for doing nothing counts as being overpaid.