This editorial appeared in The Charlotte Observer.
Most Americans are fed up with overpaid CEOs who run their companies aground while pocketing multimillion-dollar salaries and bonuses or golden parachutes. Restricting the pay of executives whose companies get federal bailout money, as President Obama announced Wednesday, is entirely appropriate.
Further, in a time of swelling joblessness, shrinking services and genuine economic pain, Wells Fargo should have realized a 12-night Vegas extravaganza billed as "employee recognition" would go over with the public about as well as a 12-night root canal. The bank – which received $25 billion in taxpayer bailout funds – got the message and Tuesday scrapped the event.
Similarly, Bank of America has been flayed by public opinion after ABC News reported it spent $10 million for a five-day Super Bowl carnival, part of a sponsorship deal with the NFL. (The bank says the event, owned by the NFL, was part of its business relationship with the league, which generates millions in revenue for the bank. It says the $10 million report is wrong, that it spent only "thousands," and part of the proceeds went to at-risk youth in Tampa.)
Call it the new Puritanism. If you're getting taxpayer money, curb your excesses. Of course, what's "excess" to someone else may be "legitimate expense" to you. Who gets to decide?
To read the complete editorial, visit The Charlotte Observer.