Sunday, December 24, 2006

Of $$ and Merriness

Feeling a little pinched after all your Christmas spending this year? Dreading the après Christmas credit card balance? You’re not alone. Millions overspend this time of year. Don’t feel badly.

But wait! Here’s a little something that will make you feel badly — big time. Or envious. Or wondering what in hell the world is coming to.

While I’m munching away on my oh-so-healthy-good-for-you bowl of cereal this morning, the hubby read me excerpts from the Sunday Business Section of The New York Times. Almost spewed the contents of my mouth.

The article (written by Gretchen Morgenson) is entitled A Lump of Coal Might Suffice. The subject is the severance package Mr. Hank McKinnell, the former chief executive of Pfizer, received after being “dumped” by Pfizer last July. The details of the package were released a few days ago. (I can’t give a link to this article unless I pay The New York Times for access to their online edition. Not a good time of year to be frivolous with the moohlah. We subscribe to the print edition — that’s enough.)

Here are the details of McKinnell’s severance package. Hold on to your hats. Try not to gag (and empty your mouths).

The package adds up to $200 million.

This includes a pension of $6.65 million per year that he will receive for the rest of his life. (He’s 63 years old.)

Add in $78 million in deferred compensation.

Now add in an estimated $18.3 million in performance-based shares.

Also included is $12 million in severance, vested stock grants worth $5.8 million and a $2.15 million bonus.

There’s more but I’m getting dizzy just contemplating such stratospheric figures.

My husband asked if I wanted more details — such as the information that shareholders lost $137 billion under McKinnell’s “watch.”

I replied, “No, I don’t need any more facts.” (So much for being a truth-seeking journalist although I did end up reading the article itself.) For the purpose of this blog, those obscene figures suffice. I can’t think of anything that could justify one man receiving such sums of money.

Wow and wow. Such crazy goings-on in this world.

Santa Claus (a.k.a. Pfizer) has been very good to Mr. McKinnell this year. (Guess it doesn’t matter that Mr. McKinnell hadn’t been particularly good.)

You know what? In all honesty, I’m not envious. In fact, I prefer our lifestyle. I don’t know Mr. McKinnell from Adam but I’m betting our Christmas is a merrier one.

And I wish you all a very Merry Christmas! It can be done without the big bucks…


Beth said...

You know what? I bet you are so right, about your Christmas being a merrier one.

It seems the more money you have, the more problems you have. True, I have wished to win millions in the lottery and think all of my problems would be solved, but would they really? I tend to think I'd have MORE problems.

Merry Christmas Beth. Have a good one.

Beth said...

beth - Yeah, who needs all that money? ;)

(I'd probably give most of it away, anyway.)

And a very Merry Christmas to you and your family! We're all gonna have more fun than that dude, right?

Nomad said...

Merry Christmas and good for you re dinner at the old folks home!!
Hope it went well...

oreneta said...

OK, all my latent communism, as my family likes to label it leaps to the front tip of my tongue...but....I think.......not here.

I've toyed with the idea of winning the lottery. You know what I think a great thing to do if you had loads of moolah....aside from the charity off friends and families mortgages. Wouldn't that be GREAT! Then tell them never to bug me for money unless close loved ones required obscure, psychotically expensive life-saving medical treatment.

Beth said...

Nomad - the dinner went very well - glad we did it - my father-in-law was so happy. I'm a little tired but, hey, I'm still (relatively) young and healthy.
Hope your Christmas is a jolly and happy one!

oreneta - So you're a latent family calls me a socialist. I take it as a compliment. And I too play "if I win the lottery" - divide it up amongst friends and family. I never win so the dreaming is the best part. Have a Merry Christmas!

AndrewL said...

Well, maybe Pfizer would've gone bankrupt if it wasn't for him, so maybe he DID earn that remuneration :P

Beth said...

andrew L. - That would be a BIG "maybe" - and the article indicates otherwise!