CEOs Took Billions Off the Table Before Bust

15 financial, home building bosses made over $100M
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2008 8:55 AM CST
CEOs Took Billions Off the Table Before Bust
Maurice Greenberg, former CEO of American International Group, made $115,266,874 by selling AIG stock in the five years leading up to the crash.   (AP Photo/Stephen Chernin)

Investors have lost some $9 trillion since last year’s stock market peak, but at the center of the maelstrom, CEOs of some of the worst-performing companies are sitting pretty. Fifteen financial services and homebuilding CEOs have accumulated more than $100 million each in the past 5 years in cash compensation and stock sales, the Wall Street Journal reports. That includes the heads of Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, and other nearly bankrupt or deeply damaged companies.

The Journal examined pay at 120 public finance, credit, and homebuilding stocks, and found that top executives had sold more than $21 billion in stock over the period. Many sold at regular intervals, or well before the bust, while others kept more than they unloaded and suffered huge losses. Then there are bosses like Robert Toll, who sold a huge chunk of his Toll Brothers stock the month it peaked. Shares have fallen 73% since. (More executive compensation stories.)

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