Some Wall Street executives still don’t get it. Credit Suisse Group AG’s CEO Brady Dougan took home nearly $18 million in 2009 – more than six times what he received in 2008. And the 2009 payout occurred during a time when the nation experienced a financial meltdown, bank bailouts courtesy of the Troubled Asset Relief Program and mounting public criticism over Wall Street bonuses and compensation levels.
As reported March 25, 2010, by the Wall Street Journal, Dougan’s 2009 annual pay, which includes a cash bonus, salary and stock, was nearly twice the $9.6 million that Goldman Sachs paid CEO Lloyd Blankfein. And, to top it off, Goldman made 40% more in net income in 2009 than Credit Suisse.
In a letter to Credit Suisse shareholders, Dougan and Chairman Hans-Ulrich Doerig justified the 2009 payout, stating that “a skilled workforce is key to maintaining high levels of client satisfaction … which is why we will continue to attract … talented people while remaining sensitive to the public debate about compensation.”
Perhaps a better way to “remain sensitive” might be to roll back the bonuses and excessive compensation packages for some of Wall Street’s top earners.