We’re told that corporate executives get paid outrageous sums of money because they add value to the companies they work for. But a new video and report from the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) show that this is far from accurate. Of the 500 highest-paid CEOs of the past 20 years, the report shows, 112 of the companies they represent filed for bankruptcy or received bailout money from the federal government, 39 of the CEOs were fired and 39 of those companies had to pay massive fines or settlements for serious fraud—a total of nearly 40% of all the highest-paid executives.
The real problem is almost certainly worse than that picture, however, because IPS couldn’t quantify things that many of them had done, such as cutting corners on environmental protections, gutting employee pensions or cheating consumers. The report also shows that taxpayers are subsidizing this executive excess because a loophole in the tax code allows corporations to write off this excessive pay as a tax deduction.
Read the full 20th annual Executive Excess report.