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  In my search to find something positive among the rubbish cascading across our eyes, let us behold a small ray of positive action. Citibank's CEO Vikram S. Pandit tried to stuff his pockets full of millions of dollars more in bank money. The shareholders were not buying it--and turned thumbs down on his proposed heist.

   Sorry, Vikram, you need a new plan:

Citigroup’s shareholders rejected the bank’s plan to award its chief executive, Vikram S. Pandit, $15 million in compensation, in a show of frustration about Wall Street pay.

At the bank’s annual meeting Tuesday in Dallas, a majority of investors voted against a proposal on executive compensation, which included approving Mr. Pandit’s pay package.

   Maybe this is a sign I am getting soft, or perhaps desperate for any tidbit of good news because this vote was simply advisory. That said, it's going to be hard for the board of directors to simply ignore a vote for Pandit's legalized robbery package which only garnered the support of 45 percent of the shareholders.
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Comment Preferences

  •  Well this is a ray of sunshine n/t (10+ / 0-)

    Republican Family Values: Using the daughters from your first wife to convince everybody that your second wife is lying about your third wife.

    by jsfox on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 02:24:44 PM PDT

  •  vote is advisory, and historic (9+ / 0-)

    They didn't vote on his current pay, they voted on what he already got in 2011.

    We are early in the game on what impact Say on Pay is going to have on executive compensation--in most of the votes last year shareholders rubber stamped the pay.   If last year's votes against generated different pay packages for this year's vote, then there may be something interesting going on.

  •  This is how things are supposed to work (12+ / 0-)

    the owners of the company are the ones who are supposed to decide whether a CEO is worth all the millions he or she is paid.  The Board represents the owners -- the shareholders.  

    The owners -- the shareholders -- can make their displeasure known this way, or by big sell-offs of the stock.  Falling stock prices definitely get the attention of the Board.  

    •  It takes a lot of talent to run a failure that big (11+ / 0-)

      I mean, anyone can run a failed coffee shop.  But, a $3 trillion failure takes moxie.

      "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

      by Geekesque on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 02:30:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Some CEO's are worth the millions, some are not (7+ / 0-)

        I think Steve Jobs was worth every cent Apple paid him.  if you define success by the only legitimate measurement -- increased value to shareholders -- he was wildly successful and worth every cent they paid him.  And frankly, I have no doubt - given the increase in shareholder value due to him -- the shareholders were happy to see him earn those millions.

        Other CEO's, of course, not so much.  

        At any rate, the shareholders are the ultimate "boss" of the CEO and they are the ones who get to decide whether the CEO is "worth it" or not, through votes like this or through selling the stock.  

        •  why is that the only legitimate measure? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Odysseus, cotterperson

          seems that given how the market works now, that is nothing but a measure of probable short term profit. wouldn't a more accurate measure be a comprehensive P&L, or an accurate projection of future plans?

           if you define success by the only legitimate measurement -- increased value of the company over the long term, than most CEO's are worthless. By your reasoning, then every CEO from the period prior to the 1990's, and most CEO's in Europe must be ready to go galt, having achieved proportional successes equal to or approaching Jobs, and only being compensated 15 or 20 times that of an average employee.....Oh the Humanity.

          "I took a walk around the world, To ease my troubled mind. I left my body laying somewhere In the sands of time" Kryptonite 3 doors Down

          by farmerchuck on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 03:23:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So our US CEOs are compensated 15 to 20 times (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            farmerchuck

            greater than European CEOs?  Which I suppose is making the European CEOs seem 'middle class' in comparison?  

            Must be tough for those Euro CEOs not to be able to afford a battleship sized 200 foot to 200 meter' long superyacht with heliports, capacity for dozens of vehicles, and of course hundreds of your closest friends & key business associates, and able to stay at sea for years if peasant revolts make it necessary, and, yes, another one for the ex-wife...after that the pre-nups will require IQ tests...can't be having trophy quality arm candy that can see through the ol' "Hey snookums luv, let's try water skiing behind the yacht today! Sweetie, It'll be the bomb! Look honey, gem encrusted silver plated water skiis and life jacket trimmed in your favorite colors made of solid white gold!" in shark invested waters trick.  

            But let's zoom in via Kos Satellite  onto the deck of the megayacht "Carpe Infinitum! (All your carpes belong to us!)" where our latest new-monied billionaire struggles to shape reality to fit his dreams, with the help of his ever loyal butler and valet "Jini Jeeves".  
            "Dang it Jini! Why didn't anyone suggest that I could have rows of harpoon guns mounted onto these decks before we set sail? I'm so ready for some sort of a hunt! I'm ready to hunt and conquer great sea monsters, today Jeeves, today!"
            "Immediately Sir. I'm calling forthwith the nearest dry dock outfitters as we speak, sir!  Silver or gold-plated harpoon guns, sir?"
            "Platinum...and, Jeeves, I've just had this most marvelous idea! I have overheard news shows talking of highly trained naval seals doing this or that fabulous trick, even taking out those shabby but elusive international terrorists.  Imagine this if you can Jeeves!  It would be like skeet but with really such big splashes!  Won't the other CEOs envy me if I were to hold an invitation only wonderful naval seal hunt?"
            "Sir, I'm sorry.  I don't believe they are that kind of seal, sir!  The more common understanding appears to be that they are enlisted members of the U.S. Navy--yes sir, basically they're humans. Right, indeed, 'salaried' humans, rather like me...but far better protected and very well-armed sir.  No,sir, generally they're not likely to attend our shareholder meetings."  
            "How long until I can fire my harpoons, Jeeves? Did that crewman just mutter 'Captain Ahab' under his breath?"
            "No sir.  I believe he was saying 'Aye, Capain I have it covered.' while facing into the blustery wind.  Now, sir, it may take about 6 weeks to get those harpoon guns installed and operational, if we can make shore at a serviceable port in the next 2 weeks."
            "Don't forget the blasted harpoons Jeeves! I should think a barge load would get through the coming sea monster hunting season."  
            "Absolutely sir, very good. And, sir, if you please, you may wish a few trained staff to come on board with that barge load bristling of very sharp harpoons. Shall I requisition 6 or perhaps a dozen sir?  Sorry sir, I'm mis heard your last words...that's 6...barge loads? Ah, of harpoons, indeed...it would be okay if I toss over a few of the SUV limos from the hold, then?  As you wish sir, but about the trained staff? Right sir, 6...plus...did you say 30 interns?  Well, very good sir! But interns sir? To retrieve the harpoons, sir...do you think that will be necessary sir? The harpoons would likely come with reels of line, of course, and automated reels."
            "Ditch the reels Jeeves. And have the tailors whip up 3 dozen seal costumes, with seaman hats."
            "Sir, 36? Sir?  Oh, right,.,Oh.  I shall surmise you'll be wanting to use the somewhat awkward but effective postdated paycheck gambit again?"
            "Quite so Jeeves, you know I don't care to worry about that sort of detail.  Just make it wonderful for me, and the rest is pure gravy Jeeves.  Tell you what Jeeves, get this done in 4 weeks and you'll be named beneficiary to 10% of the interns."  
            "Thank you so much for your considerations, Sir! I'll insure them immediately.  Might this mean you will wish change your position in the hedge funds betting against life insurance companies?"  
            "Brilliant! You anticipated my very thoughts, Jeeves! Let's make that 20% to you---could you check the calendar--I believe your birthday's coming up?"  
            "Why yes it is sir, how thoughtful of you to remember me in this most amazing decade! And nearly everyone will love you for draining the money from the insurance CEO bonus funds before the end of the quarter."  
            "Excellent Jeeves, but another inspiration has come to me.  Be sure to have the captain prepared to locate and come along side the 'Condileeza Rice' in about 5 weeks."
            "Brilliant sir! I'm sure it will be a hit! And I would be sending the helicopters for the 'Mission Accomplished' banner for this auspicious occasion, sir?  And bring back Mitt & Anne, plus Dick and W's clans too?  No one has a wry wit and sense of irony like you sir, although not a few have dared try to come close.  Ostrich eggs & catapults for afterward, sir?  Ats hey helicopter off? Sizzling idea, sir! Hail to the Chief with a breakfast volley of Ostrich omlets! Just enough to test Dick's new heart and make W nearly gag on a pork rind...how merciful! Who but you, sir, could come up with that sort of masterful jocularity! You must be feeling more of those spontaneous youthful Ivy-league urges again! I'm sure the excitement of anticipation is positively dizzying...  Shall I have the captain immediately hydroplane to the nearest port? I understand the Koch boys could position a few refueling tankers between us and port...two should suffice if we keep under 45 knots, if we go faster, I'm afraid we'd have to stop for a third refill.  Also, Sir, I needn't remind you about the international consequences of that trick of dropping all the emergency anchors to one side of the mega-yacht while hydroplaning inside national waters over continental plates...yes, making the major sea-bed quake, big whirlpool and huge waves was unbelievable fun, but. sir, Japan is still recovering and you know how it affected our energy portfolio and planetary radiation levels.  Of course, sir, this time I'll make sure our harpoon guns will be bigger than their pesky research whalers...and, yes, sir, I'm getting this all down as fast as I can...a giant rock-star-class sound system so you can yell across 5 to 10 nautical miles, 'Go ahead, make my day!' How fitting and bold, sir. And I should invite Clint along to yell with you? What unanticipated whimsies you can have when you feel so upbeat, sir!  I shall certainly inquire to see if harpoon guns come in '6-shooter' models, immediately sir."

            When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

            by antirove on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 01:02:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  and for that failure (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Geekesque, cotterperson

        ...you still get to keep your job! Ain't American capitalism great, or what?

        Follow me on Twitter @jonathantasini

        Visit Working Life.

        by Tasini on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 02:34:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  If corp's are people, Citi is a repeat felon (8+ / 0-)

    Since the Great Depression, continuing through currency crises in the '70s, and the repeal of Glass-Steagall in the 1990s because of the Citi merger to Travelers, Citi has been the worst of the banksters.  

    Break it up, and ban all its executives from the industry for life.

  •  Interesting...I just spent the morning (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MKSinSA, cotterperson, antirove

    trying to find out where my mortgage servicing was being done through within Citi...Seems it got moved to Oklahoma, "for my convenience"

    "I took a walk around the world, To ease my troubled mind. I left my body laying somewhere In the sands of time" Kryptonite 3 doors Down

    by farmerchuck on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 03:13:58 PM PDT

  •  this illustrates why (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, cany, cotterperson

    it is not always bad to own stock in a company you might find odious.  if you own stock, you get to vote on things like this.  if enough like-minded people own stock, they can really make a difference.

    hope springs eternal and DAMN is she getting tired!

    by alguien on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 03:20:39 PM PDT

  •  Nonbinding vote (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo, cotterperson, antirove

    NYT:

    The move by Citi’s shareholders, which is not binding, is the first time that investors at one of the nation’s largest banks have voted against a board’s compensation plan.
    The board is free to ignore the shareholder vote and it probably will.

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