Do We Really Believe CEOs Anymore?

The Business Roundtable’s quarterly CEO Economic Outlook index features a survey of 142 Chief Executive Officers of American companies, and this year’s results are quite positive. More than half of the CEOs said that they expect their companies to create more jobs in the United States over the next year, while only 11 percent claim that their companies will cut jobs. An astonishing 92 percent of the CEOs also said that they believe sales are going to rise throughout the country in a variety of industries and all will be well for the American economy again. And upon this news, we all danced in the streets and hugged our neighbors because the men with the money said that things are A-OK. Then reality sunk in and we wondered – aren’t these the same guys who got us here?

So how then, oh great and wise CEOs, are things going to get so much better when one of your biggest names says that we’re not out of the woods just yet? According to Jamie Dimon, the CEO and Chairman of JP Morgan & Chase, more than 100 municipalities aren’t going to “make it.” Meanwhile, others are going to need to refinance to stay afloat. But Dimon tells us to not worry or panic, because this isn’t a bad thing, it’s just a part of the “credit cycle”. Apparently the next stop on the credit cycle is more than $100 billion in debt still being defaulted over the next 5 years. But please, hard-working Americans – don’t panic.

Oh won’t a generous CEO step up and show the public some sympathy and compassion in this hard time? Ask and ye shall receive, because Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan cut his salary by 70% in 2010, dropping his annual pay from $6.51 million to a much more respectable and modest $1.94 million. I’m not going to fault the man for still making almost $2 million, as he runs one of the nation’s biggest banks. What I will fault him for, though, is being full of what our blue collar children call doodie. While boasting of this generous salary cut, Bank of America merely delayed that 70% and awarded it to Moynihan as a bonus earlier this year. As he would have received over $6 million, he instead earned $9.1 million.

That’s right, America, everything is back to normal.


  • American CEOs hit a record high with their confidence, unfulfilled promises. (Breaking Business)
  • More than 100 municipalities may default, which is like, all good, brah. (Business Week)
  • Bank of America CEO compensation declined 70% in 2010, but not in 2011. (Reuters)



  • News Corp. has heard the MySpace death rattle and is calling upon the online music video giant to utilize MySpace’s music artist benefits in exchange for a stake in the company’s future. A decision hasn’t been made yet, but Facebook was overheard saying, “Dislike.” (Bloomberg)
  • The Crocs shoe company is doing its part in Japan’s relief by donating more than 100,000 pairs of the plastic feetwear to victims of the terrible earthquake and tsunami that hit the island nation. Japan has accepted, so long as other countries agree not to laugh at them. (NBC New York)



  • In 2009, the CEOs of 292 companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index received an average salary of $9.25 million. That amount was down 9% from 2008, but their retirement benefits increased 23%. Responded all of their employees, “What’s retirement?” (AFL-CIO)
  • Larry Ellison of Oracle was the highest paid CEO of a tech company in 2010, as he earned more than $84.5 million in salary and options. The second-highest CEO earner was Intel’s Paul Otellini, who made just $14.4 million. Poor guy. (TaranFX)