I wrote several columns in December last year, With Wall St. as Sideshow, Performance is Best Salary Guide, discussed the extraordinary exit strategies for Wall St. executives whose performance was dismal. In Even the Giants Don’t Plan for Executive Succession, I commented further on unbridled executive pay in the context of major financial organizations who could apparently afford large exit sums for their CEO's but couldn't take the time to develop a succession plan for the most important job in the Company.
For an update on how these Wall St. pay packages have fared during the recent crises , consult The Shareholders at the Top. You'll see there how both current and former CEO's have lost over $4 Billion in compensation since January as a result of their pay-for-performance packages.
It's not a good thing for them – but it's a good thing for accountability and performance-based compensation, and shows that there is still real risk in the market.