How Does So Much Wealth End Up in the Pockets of CEOs and Wall Street Firms?
1. Companies buy other companies using borrowed money.
Since the 1980s, corporate raiders, corporations and hedge funds have looked to take over any company they could. But here’s their secret.
2. Raiders use the assets of the targeted company to pay for the costs of the acquisition.
The target company is weakened because it has to pay back millions of dollars. Worse, the corporate raiders pay themselves from the assets of the acquired company, too, in fees and special dividends. The CEOs and bankers get their cut as well. Not much left to share with the workers from a once-successful company.
3. CEOs get paid with stock incentives. That means when a company’s stock goes up, CEOs get even more money.
Unfortunately, in the U.S., most CEOs are focused on very short-term goals, like improving their own compensation. They most likely aren’t looking at long terms goals like increasing productivity or reinvesting in research and development. They aren’t interested in increasing workers’ real wages and benefits. So what does the CEO do?
4. CEOs use company earnings not to invest in better equipment or operations, not to pass along gains to workers, but to buy more stock, because that raises the stock prices and raises the CEO’s salary.
5. CEOS IMPLEMENT “THE SQUEEZE.”
The company downsizes, and workers get laid off. Jobs are shipped offshore. Pension funds are frozen. Wages and benefits are cut.
6. Result: the earnings of the corporation are redistributed to executives and Wall Street bankers.
What’s left for workers?