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. Gary

    Obama's cap plan is unconstitutional and I did not make it up. I heard a judge describe this today. Wait and see. This will go to court if it happens. By the way, this does NOT affect any of the prior CEO's of companies that have already received a bailout.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  2. Ashley - Hamlin, NY

    Coop, I'm sure we are all just happy you showed up. 🙂 Great interview last night. Is DC any warmer than NYC?

    February 4, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  3. Larry

    Many CEOs are also working for more than one company as well as having tenure (I can't be fired) at prestigious universities, its not as drastic a measure to cap one of their salaries (Congressmen get $$ from companies for whom they are lobbying for as well as their salaries and job perks).

    February 4, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  4. Michelle D. Fonthill,Ont

    The execs will never get to see how the ogther hal;f lives i wish they could walk a mile in someone else's shoes and see how it feels . Would they care about the misfortune of poeple then ?

    February 4, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  5. Adnan: Boise ID

    I believe this economic situation is the deep end of the pool for our new president, he is doing a wonderful job so far. The stimulus is believed to be in good shape and should be passed be the end of the week, so far so good.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  6. Bill

    None of the CEOs that were pictured on your program are worth the money listed. No one person is. I don't believe any CEO is worth any where near $500,000.00.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  7. Alex Azima

    Hey Anderson, if these CEOs are such a talented group of people, as you seem to imply, then why are their companies losing money? I'll bet each of those companies has lower level people who can easily step in and do a much better job of running those companies in a much more effective way.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  8. Vaibhav

    Anderson- Is this salary cap only for the institutions who are NOW going to get the govt. bailout? or is it also applicable for all the other institutions who have been bailed out last year?

    February 4, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  9. Ana Rezende

    I think the 500.000 cap was the most courageous act of an american leader, to stand up and speak against the ones who usually are protected by Washington.
    I don't believe on the argument that CEO's quitting to get better jobs will harm the companies even more. They were the one who got the companies in that mess on the first place. They already did harm them and the economy.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  10. Wes McDaniel

    Since 2004, the Dept of Labor, has projected a continued change in our industry from a goods-producing to service-providing economy. The transition should be complete by 2016. This is driven mostly due to the demographics of our population. Bottom Line: Less need for huge goods-producing factories and more of the smaller, labor-driven service-providing institutions.

    Given this data, it doesn’t make since to bailout these outdated and dying industries. Let the market take its course. To remain a viable part of our economy, these goods-producing industries MUST restructure themselves to meet the future demand. We no longer need what they provide…they need to consider their customer and meet our needs by providing a product we WANT or NEED!!

    Use the bailout to retrain the workforce to meet the true needs of our economy.


    February 4, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  11. Richard

    Public assistance is just that, whether it's called welfare, bailout, or tarp; and each form has it's restrictions.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  12. Travis

    I totally agree with the cap on executives. Keeping there salary at 500,000 keeps thousands of jobs. If people in the company make 30,000 or more than you can save 100 jobs for every 3 million dollars. Some executives are making close to 20 million which means up to 700 jobs for each company!

    February 4, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  13. lynn

    Mike in NY: He also needs to stand up to the Republicans constant remedy of more tax cuts to the richest people...they do not work as stimulous!! Maybe they should cut the budget for Iraq or at least man up and take the blame for this unnecessary war and how it contibuted to the debt>

    I am very pleased that Pres. Obama signed the bill to increase the number of children eligible for health care. A country that doesn't take care of its children doesn't have a soul.

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

    I certainly hope Obama is not caving in to the Republican tax cuts. We need to stick with job creation and infrastructure. As a business owner, tax cuts are now going to allow me to hire additional employees. I need consumers to start spending again.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  15. Fran Skinner

    The cap on CEO salaries is perfect. Why are they afraid of losing all this top talent who lost all the money in the first place?

    February 4, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  16. Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio

    If the economy was such a priority to the Congress they would forego all of their pork programs and get this thing passed!

    February 4, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  17. Celeste

    Afraid to lose the best talent by slashing salaries? Seriously?

    #1. This particular batch of "best talent" drove their companies into the ground. Maybe we need a new "best talent" – a bunch driven by results and attention to detail who get their jobs based on merit and not by being churned out of the entitlement factory that currently provides American executives.

    #2. Your mama told you: beggars can't be choosers. Enough said.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  18. Maria

    I am not sure I agree with the Stimulus bill. 28 million dollars a year is a bit wild, I will admit, but capping the CEO's at $500,000? That is almost as ridiculous as paying them $28M. I am not defending them but at least they have worked up the ladder to become this successful and have college and maybe graduates degrees. Actors make just as much for making a movie and majority of them only received G.E.D.'s!! It makes no sense to take away from people who actually do something.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  19. Amanda Walton-Ontario, Canada

    Good Evening Anderson,

    I think the President's capping the CEO's salary was what Ali said, could be a genius idea of the carrot on the stick, it's the government's collarteral for any new monies given to those who proved they did the wrong thing with their bailout money in the first place. Shouldn't they now be on probation?

    Have a great night

    Stay Safe

    February 4, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  20. Manoj

    Obama Did great to Cap CEO's & Executives to get only 500,000 in Salary & Rest in Incentives.

    All CEO's & Big Fat Cats cant have Fun with Tax payers Money. Avg. American Makes 45-50K & cant take this Stupid Greedy CEO's , Wall Street Prof's

    Hope Mr. Pres. Reduces Prices of House what Banks Owned so tons of ppl will Buy the houses & Money will start Flowing

    God Bless America

    February 4, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  21. Cathy Leach

    Yes, the salary caps are ingenious! I doubt this will lead to a long term policy of wage setting by the government. No one would tolerate it, and Obama is smarter than that. Let the man do his job!!!!

    February 4, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  22. Renee Y

    RE Ed Rollins: Nothing in life is guaranteed except death and taxes. Obama has asked for solutions and no one offers nothing new or innovative but everyone finds something to balk about it. Pass the darn thing, already.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  23. Tom

    Please, Anderson, you are so worried about retaining "talent" at these banks (at $500,000) - but you had no concern about Auto execs taking $1 salary. In the long run, who will matter most to America - industries that make and invent things - or paper shufflers?

    February 4, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  24. Bridget, TX

    Will someone tell Ed R. that there are no guarantees to any bill but forward. It sounds to me that the GOP are more concern with standing back and hoping the stimulus package fail than trying to save this country.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  25. Mike, Syracuse NY

    @Eric from Omaha. CNN had a link yesterday to the list of questionable items. I was appaled. There's stuff about money for resodding the Capitol Mall, Hollywood, the census, and many others that didn't create jobs. The total cost is $819 billion for 3 million jobs. That works out to $275,000 per job. They should be creating 5X that many jobs at $50,000 each.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  26. melody

    Stimulus has no pork

    February 4, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  27. Gail

    Just like the captain of any ship, the CEO's need to feel the pain of this dire situation. They need to lead by example and show that they too are taking a hit. Maybe if they have the incentive of having to perform better for a bonus, they will do what's best for their industry. After all, incentive performance payments are not new for the majority of us rank and file employees.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:16 pm |

    Anderson, here in Indiana we're dieing. No jobs , getting a loan here is not a problem, I don't see a bank problem here because we have banks here that didn't run there paper into the ground....We need a place to go to work.....The Housing market screwed there selves by running house prices to the highest it has ever been. By putting people in houses that they knew couldn't pay. Like most credit card people who hooked people into using them and then jacking up interest rate to 30% or more has run this area into dust. Our banks here don't need money.............We need work. Steve

    February 4, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  29. Naissa, Deep in the HEART of Texas

    Anderson that wasn't a "naive" question. I was thinking the exact same thing.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  30. carolyn cee yah

    the man calling the cops on the cops, good he was'nt black he would be dead now!!!!! oh accidentally shot or tasered to dealth.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  31. Tom K Frankfort, NY

    What I have difficulty understanding is where are the stockholders/stakeholders with regard to the management of their companies? Why is there such reluctance to make these executives
    accountable for their policies that resulted in such ruin for their companies and the global economies? Conservatives bemoan the
    nationalization of the banks; had they not been grossly mismanaged with disregard for sound practices, we all would not have been brought to the position we are in today. Free markets without any
    regulation, makes the whole system vulnerable to massive failures.
    It happened years ago, it' happened today and will happen again with the help of short memories.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  32. bob

    Capping ceo salary isn't a good idea its a great idea!!

    You can't tell me that there are not brilliant budding business executives right out of the Wharton School, Harvard Business School etc etc who could not do a better job than the current ceo's who have managed to wreck the worlds economy!

    "finding the right talent" is cover up for rich ceos and board members keeping each other rich.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  33. Susan

    The US people don't need 'talent' like the CEO's responsible for running major corporations into the ground. I'm a manager and work in finance; I could have run the company into the ground for a mere $250k....but seriously, these CEO's have shown they are not worth $20k, much less $20 million. Our US legislators should be ashamed for rewarding these criminals by giving them our money. The sad truth is that our legislators as well as those executives are so far removed from society and the nightmare they have created that they have no idea how bad the situation is. The difference between now and the 1930's is that in the 1930's, our government officials behaved responsibly and allowed wall street to fall; This time, they are taking our nation down with them.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  34. ravikanth tangirala

    Why is the executive cap at $500K? Why not $1 million or some other number. $500K does sound quite low considering the amount of reputation at risk.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  35. Michelle

    The public knows President Obama inherited a really big mess.
    We know there are not simple solutions. If there were would we
    be here.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  36. Isabel Abreu, Brazil

    Good evening!

    February 4, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  37. Jacqueline, NY

    Greetings All!

    Hello Mr. Gergen. I'm okay with the cap on executives' salaries, but what about those who have already gotten away with highway robbery. I would like to know what price will they play? There has got to be something more. They need to pay for it or payback, now. Perhaps the government can garnish the bank execs wages to get taxpayers' money back. You know, they same way they do when the "little" people don't pay their taxes or something.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  38. Monica

    This country is falling apart – these companies are failing. The government is giving them money to stay above water. They do not have to. Why should their salaries not be capped? If they don't want their salaries capped, then the government should not give them money. It's simple. $500K versus $0 salary (coupled with a tarnished reputation for bringing down a company) – it's not rocket science. Not to mention, who would want to work for such greedy CEOs anyhow?

    February 4, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  39. Elizabeth

    I support the cap on executive salary for those companies receiving bailout monies. If the current executives leave, that is fine. They have created the mess that their companies are in and should not be rewarded for it. There will be others to replace them with new ideas and perhaps better morality.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  40. David O

    I know the economic crisis is very serious, but what about getting consumer confidence back through positive news – companies hiring and any other bright spots people can cling onto. Make People feel good... That will go a long way.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  41. Eric from Omaha

    BJ in Lousville-glad you're here. Stay warm-nieces have been off of school for awhile in Burlington.
    Ed Rollins calls this a junk bill. Give us something different then! I don't hear Rep's offer alternatives-just complaining. Wash'n as usual. This is Obama being a leader moving this bill. Not perfect, but work it out! Quit whining–

    February 4, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  42. Chris - Boston, MA

    I was really hoping that the stimulus bill would not pass. It appears Obama is making, I think they call it, a Keynesian mistake?

    February 4, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  43. Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio

    These CEOs are lucky they aren't being fined retroactively for their failures. That would have been a just punishment.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  44. Chris Sosa - Boston, MA

    @ Ronika – He was serious. Watch out, 'cause you'll be hooked before you know it. 😉 So, welcome to the live blog!

    @ Frank B. – That's a really interesting idea concerning the housing crisis.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  45. Mike Dole

    This sounds good because everyone is hurting but this is a slippery slope. We are talking about limiting salaries, that is Socialism. What makes America great is that there is a tremendous reward if you make it to the top. If a CEO is not cutting it, they should be voted out or fired, not have their pay limited. You earn based on your merits and what people are willing to pay you, not what the government ALLOWS you to receive. If some bonehead throws a ten million dollar SuperBowl party and their company is in the tank, they should be VOTED OUt or fired. The Free Market should determine successs and Failure, not government.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  46. jenniene

    They better hurry up. There's no money out there.The people aren't in stores, banks. Everything may come to a halt.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  47. rodney s harmon

    I think the excutives should have a cap.. It's not fair to take tax-payers money to get millions in bonus... The working class is what drives the economy so we should have some say where our money goes..

    February 4, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  48. Angie in DC

    The solution to the bailout is to help home owners directly. The government should apply a certain dollar amount to all morgages. This would help replenish the banks and help homeowners and tax payers. The banks have already proven they are interested only in themselves

    February 4, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  49. Susan

    Top tier talent? Cream of the crop? If they're so talented, why have their companies failed? They shouldn't make more than President Obama.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  50. Matt Wilson

    Only "top" executives will have a compensation cap? I don't trust these guys. They will redefine themselves as "midlevel" and there will be some banks out there with no "top" executives.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
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