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CEO Pay Hearings? Stop Wasting My Tax Dollars

Friday, 7 Mar 2008 | 11:35 AM ET

A memo from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform states that in the last two quarters of 2007, Citigroup, Merrill Lynch and Countrywide Financial (CEO Angelo Mozilo) combined lost more than 20 billion dollars, thanks to the subprime mortgage meltdown.

Angelo Mozilo
Angelo Mozilo

It also states that in the last five years, the three CEOs of those companies, two of them former CEOs, pocketed 460 million dollars -- this, as their shareholders were bleeding cash.

Today, that same House committee is going to hammer these three CEOs, brandishing awe and outrage all at once at how in the heck all this could be. The lawmakers will look aghast, surprised and altogether befuddled at the supposed moral inequity of the situation.

Come on. Is it fair? No. Is it even palatable? No. Is it how this country works? Yep. CEOs of big public companies make big money, and it’s always been public and it’s always been the status quo. Two of these guys lost their jobs and one of them had to sell his company. Am I crying for them? Nope -- I’m just reminding everyone.

Until Wall Street decides that CEOs don’t deserve princely salaries, the outrage, the awe and the use of my taxpayer dollars on a Congressional hearing to scream and yell about all this are just about as wasteful as the salaries themselves.

Questions? Comments? RealtyCheck@cnbc.com

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  • Diana Olick serves as CNBC's real estate correspondent as well as the editor of the Realty Check section on CNBC.com.

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