President Barack Obama says it is irresponsible and shameful for Wall Street bankers to be paid huge bonuses at a time when the American public is dealing with economic hardship. The president reacted harshly Thursday to reports that corporate employees got paid more than $18 billion in bonuses last year.
Said Obama: “That is the height of irresponsibility. It is shameful.”
The president said he and new Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will have direct conversations with corporate leaders to make the point.
Obama said there is a time for corporate leaders to make profits and get paid bonuses but now is “not that time.”
From the Associated Press:
In Japan, An Exec That Doesn’t Wallow In His Own Wealth
A private jet is an American CEO’s perk.
But not the CEO of Japan Airlines. He comes to work on the city bus, CBS News correspondent Barry Petersen reports.
Merrill Lynch boss John Thain spent $1 million decorating his office.
Haruka Nishimatsu, the president and CEO of Japan Air, knocked down his office walls so anyone can walk in.
He buys his suits at a discount store, because a boss who wears Armani puts himself at arm’s length from his people.
“If management is distant, up in the clouds, people just wait for orders,” Nishimatsu told CBS News through a translator. “I want my people to think for themselves.”
And meeting his people means popping into planes, chatting with flight attendants, even sorting the newspapers.
“I’d like to just find what is going on at the front line,” he said.
All CEOs say that service is important, but Nishimatsu goes it a step beyond. He says that if you’re having a bad experience, don’t get angry with the people you’re dealing with – blame the person in charge.
The person in charge here walks the walk. Look up, and there’s the boss.
Got an idea? Catch him at lunch in the company cafeteria.
His salary for running the worlds 10th largest airline: not millions, but one year as low as $90,000.
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