These are crazy days in the world of finance and work; in fact, I don't even dare look at my IRA (Individual Retirement Account) any more. It's lost enough in the past three months to send me on a nice European vacation.
But things aren't looking dismal for all of us; in fact, if you're looking for a big piece of cheese no matter the quality of your performance, here's a hot tip: become a CEO.
As USA Today reports, things are looking greener than ever for American CEOs despite troubling losses and subpar performances.
While one can appreciate the risks and stress that are involved for CEOs and I can understand that they won't be paid anywhere remotely near what us mere mortals are paid, one still has to wonder. How does a company expect productivity and morale to stay boosted at a time when jobs are becoming increasingly precarious, salaries for most people are stagnating and benefits are starting to try up – while CEOs are being handsomely paid for sitting on top of massive losses (KB Home? Merrill Lynch?)
It's simply not normal behavior to outlandishly reward mediocre performance with obscene amounts of money. Why should these guys care about what happens to the company (or their co-workers) when they are all but assured of a very golden parachute on the way out?
While CEOs take a lot of responsibility, they are also supposed to work to make profit for their shareholders – the real owners of companies. When they fail that task, they should be shown the same courtesies afforded sales people who miss targets or production managers who under produce.
Of course, that's not likely anytime soon since American unemployment offices are unaccustomed to welcoming multi-millionaires into their offices to apply for benefits.