February 4th, 2009
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 2/4/09

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Filed under: Live Blog • T1
soundoff (658 Responses)
  1. Nancy

    Applying the $500,000 cap to future salaries is not good enough. The greedy theives who already took their cut off the top of the original package are laughing out loud and should be made to give it back.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  2. bill

    How can a CEO at a failing company justify getting anything beyond $500 K in the first place? Greedy and shameful

    February 4, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  3. Sharon S

    Bea, I agree with you I think they do hold these positions way too long and hog the salary and prevent new and better talent from coming in!

    February 4, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  4. Kassie Wright

    Good evening, Anderson, best bloggers and 360 team!

    I totally like the idea of the salary cap for certain people. It's so good to see that President Obama doesn't seem to be making a double edged system.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  5. Tom Spencer

    Why limit exec. pay to just the top few? My gosh, half a million should be the limit. (that's a period!) Anyone who makes that much in a failing company should be fired anyway. I can't express how disgusted and angry I am at this farce. Doesn't anyone have any common sense anymore?

    February 4, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  6. Luc Labouche

    This evening you talked about some people having a problem with President Obama capping CEOs pay. They worried about company not being able to keep good CEOs. If the CEO was good, the company would not be asking for a bailout.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  7. Charles A. Bowsher

    Why is anyone worried about a filibuster? Tthe Republicans are not complete idiots.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  8. Diane Kawell

    Yes, limit the top corp salaries – might be pleasantly surprised with the talent this move will actually attract, especially if bonuses are paid in stock made available once govt bailout money is paid back.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  9. Michelle D. Fonthill,Ont

    The ceo's are big babies how could they afford to live making over 500,000 they will have to go on food stamps-ha!

    February 4, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  10. CaseyJ - Palm Springs, CA

    @EJ...yes–only for those taking $ from this point (roughly) forward. That's why AIG and BofA are "exempt."

    February 4, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  11. Artim

    Its about time they put a salary cap on CEO's. The government should give small businessess a bailout, and they should use that money to promote discounts and offers to luar consumers in their business. This will help boost the economy.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  12. Desmond

    Anderson, forget about the gap between the rich and poor, how about the gap between the "middle class" and the rich.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  13. rae

    I'm with Jim. Let's put the money with the tax payers. The big wig mukky muks have proven themselves greedy, insensitive, selfish, thoughtless, arrogant, ignorant and oblivious to sensible business practice. Their argument of needing large $ to attract talent is ludicrous. Look at how many investment sector jobs were lost last year. There's your talent, and hopefully they'll soon need to work for less!

    February 4, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  14. julliet

    It just doesn't make sense for a campany to come crying for millions of taxpayers money, because they are in trouble, and then turn around and pay themselves millions. They might not be in trouble at all.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  15. Juana

    Putting a cap on any organization (bank, insurance and/or auto industry) receiving a bailout is in order. It's an insult and mockery to the U.S. citizens to beg and plead for help, only to turn around and have lavish party & big bonuses paid from the bailout money. Besides, what have these companies done for their customers? NOTHING!

    February 4, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  16. Frank, Poughkeepsie, New York

    Money, money, money.... Is there no concept any more of just doing something because it is right?? Whatever happened to "ask not what your country can do for you..."? These CEOs have hundreds of millions in the bank. If they are not willing to do their job out of a sense of duty to their country (the country that made them ridiculously rich in the first place), then the sooner they leave, the better, and good riddance to them.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  17. Renee

    Executive Compensation is about the top 5% of the company according to Ali. Let's just hope Time Warner doesn't have to take TARP. TW posted a large loss today. I am afraid all of our friends at 360 would have to take a big hit.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  18. Cecilia

    Yes,he president did the right thing in limiting CEO income – so what if they quit . Where are they going to go – or maybe they will go to work in manufacturing and actually work for a living.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  19. Manoj

    Hi Anderson,

    Cap CEO to 500,000, bcoz they cant just have Fun on Tax Payers Money

    February 4, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  20. Doug

    Bank execs have no business buying jets, taking huge bonuses, etc., while accepting taxpayer money. I find it curious that there was no language written into the legislation to prevent this blatant thumbing of the nose to taxpayers.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  21. joe

    hello anderson, glad i get to watch u way over here in thailand.

    but to my point he was just saying that were these big ceos goign to go ig they quite there job becasue of the $500000 a year payment. well do u think they really care they have all made 100 million dollars over the last 4 years any way. so i tink it will hurt these companys becasue no one will want to come and work for them for the $500000 a year.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  22. Maritza

    My reaction to the $500,000.00 executive bonus cap? It's about time! Whatever happened to CEOs like Lee Iacocca?

    February 4, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  23. Francis M. Ciancarelli

    USA Employment Stimulus Package:

    Our government should restore lost retirement investments for people 60+ years, add in additional onetime benefit, let’s say >$500,000, to entice them into retirement thus opening jobs for younger Americans to fill.

    Funded with part of Trillion(s) dollar bailout to the financial and banking institutions seems reasonable. The new retirees and newly employed Americans would invigorate the economy by having money to spend and move us out of recession.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  24. dee

    I just watched Ali Velshi's conversation with Anderson. Mr. Velshi has stated exactly how I responded to the pres. actions with ceos' salaries.If these ceos do nto want tostay becasue they do not get more money well bye!bye! there are qualified people out there who can turn busieness around becasue they are creative. they just need a shot. This is what the world needs right now. great job mr. president.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  25. Paula, Colorado

    Hi! Your interview with President Obama was excellent–it ended too quickly.
    I hope the Senate is able to work out an agreeable stimulus bill. I understand the need to remove some irrelevant spending, but criticism over the bill early this week almost seems to be for the sake of argument rather than real concern for the economy. Inaction doesn't seem an option in the current crisis.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  26. Tiffanie

    I think that President Obama is right on with limiting the CEO's salary if they receive tax dollars. If they think they deserve more then they do need to turn their company around!

    February 4, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  27. lynn

    The plan president Obama presented was increased from 775 billion to 819 billion in the House and now to 900 billion in the Senate.

    The republicans tax cuts to businesses, capital gains, etc is pork from my pont of view as it will end up going to the richest people. They already had a huge tax cut.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  28. drew spangler

    bank of america got money from the government but when i asked for a exception for a 2 overdraft fees i got by mistake they said "no we can't waive those" i thought they were supose to help us out not take advatage of us even more. i dont think any should get bonuses and should make them live on 25k year and see what they do then

    February 4, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  29. Lissa in Houston

    They say with these caps they won't be able to attract "good" people... what is the guy who was getting $70M, chopped liver!?? Apparently $30-40M gets your company run into the ground. How much do they need, exactly?

    February 4, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  30. Sharon S

    these executive salary cuts are mandatory at this time if these companies wish to retain the employees who actually do the work under these over paid idiots who have brought our country to this mess to begin with!

    February 4, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  31. ann slovacek

    Does the salary cap for CEOS include the auto dealers who received Tarp money?

    February 4, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  32. Lorie Ann, Buellton, California

    David Gergen, I agree with John McCain. I think a stimulus is needed, but I want the members of Congress to do their duty and make sure the future debt is not a future nightmare.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  33. Steve - southern Illinois

    I have a feeling these CEO's will get themselves reclassified into some category that doesn't fall into the salary caps or find some other loop hole so they can funnel off more millions.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  34. Lori from IL

    Good evening Anderson, Erica, David Gergen and Fellow Bloggers..

    David Gergen – Not sure about the executive bonus issues - thought most to their salaries were in stock options and other benefits, rather than cash. I like that the companies that are talking bailout money will be held more accountable. I like the fact the President Obama spoke out today - seemed to be speaking more like a more authoritative leader calling for action. I don't think anyone knows if the stimulus plan will work - but we need to do something and I believe that President Obama is pushing for what he and his team will work best. He has a lot riding on this, so I will support him.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  35. Minou, New York City

    without the bailout money these ceos would be making squat all..so they should be grateful for the 500 000.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  36. kim-chicago

    David Gergen-In answer to your questions...

    I do think it is the right thing to limit the salaries of these top executives. What did these execs do to deserve this money? Have they turned these companies around? Have they stimulated this economy in anyway since receiving the money? This is borrowed money. The lender has the right to set the terms.

    I do think something has to be done to stimulate this economy...let's put it this way, I pray he is on the right track.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  37. Jolene, St. Joseph, MI

    @David Gergen: I think President Obama did the right thing by capping Wall Street executive salaries. Many Americans were not so pleased to hear that millions of our tax dollars were being used to grant them bonuses. It shows that President Obama is really listening to the people. I would, though, like to know more details about how he is going to enforce it. Like with anything, there will always be loopholes....

    February 4, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  38. Connie

    I think that the salary caps should apply to anyone working at the companies that get the bigs bail outs – not just the CEOs.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  39. Darrin

    The cap of $500-K is just perfect. If they cant work for that fee then the CEO's have no faith in the company they work for and believe it will go under.

    Lets get some new talent out of Harvrd and Yale.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  40. Janice

    Good evening Anderson and Erica,
    I would like to know why the ceo pay can't be like what the automakers did and put there salaries at 1 dollar for this year. They didn't get the big bailouts like the banks.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  41. Marium

    CEOs make so much and I understand they have to support families and what not, but you can do that without making $70 million a year. Like everyone else, why shouldn't they sacrifice to help repair the economy? There needs to be some accountability.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  42. Hillary B.

    The ceo of Goldman Sachs makes 70 million dollars a year! Is that taxpayer's money? I definitely agree with the caps on wages. During normal times it would be unheard of, however these are extraordinary times. If companies want to solicit money from the federal government then they have to be more responsible with those taxpayer dollars.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  43. anderson cooper

    good evening everyone.. sorry im late

    February 4, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  44. Vaibhav

    I completely agree with President Obama with restricting top exec's salary. Its now or never !!

    February 4, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  45. CaseyJ - Palm Springs, CA

    @Mike, Syracuse...I completely agree about putting control in the hands of stockholders, But, non-institutional stockholders are so far removed from day-to-day operations and have so many other choices of companies to buy, they will never have much leverage. The attitude of large companies is...'too bad, it's our show. If you don't like it go somewhere else." It's very hard for the "masses" to assert control unless the charge is lead by someone like a Carl Icahn.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  46. Esma

    Hi David! I do think the President is doing the right thing by placing a salary cap as this was money given to them by taxpayers. This is not money they earned, so I think it's time we pull their strings a bit.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  47. ANUPAM

    I think the focus is more on variable pay and real performance related pay .... thru stocks. This should keep the ball rolling...

    February 4, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  48. Dulcie - Denver

    David Gergen,

    I really do think it's a good thing to cap executive salaries. I understand that it's walking a fine line, but it needs to be done. Corporate greed has gotten totally out of control.

    As far as the stimulus package, I'd like to see more done to help people keep their homes, but I understand it's complicated. On the other hand, it still seems like Republicans really only care about the wealthy and revile the little guy.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  49. Michelle D. Fonthill,Ont

    Welcome B.J. That's terrible no 360 for ten days yikes !

    February 4, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  50. Gary

    Consider this: A CEO enters into a contract to run a company for a salary greater than $500k. The company has been in trouble financially and the CEO is expected to bring the company back to financial strength. Because the economy has tanked the CEO finds it necessary to get a loan from the government. Now the government is in the position of interfering with a VALID CONTRACT. No can do!!!

    February 4, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
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