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Trickle-Up Economics: America's 100 Best-Paid CEOs

Tyler Durden's picture


Earlier we reported that while the US middle class is rapidly going extinct (Piketty excel flub or not, thank you Fed) and that median incomes for everyone but the "1%" have declined since 2009 (and since the 1970s on a real basis), America's executives whose year-end reward is closely tied to the performance of their publicly traded equity and thus to the amount of stock buybacks authorized and executed, have seen their median comp soar by 50% in the past 5 years and in 2013 for the first time cracked the $10 million median pay number. So who are these titans of trickle-up economics? Below is the full list of the Top 100 best paid CEO men and women in the US in 2013.

One thing to note: while Larry Ellison's total comp in 2013 was an impressive $76.9 million, or over a thousand times the average worker's salary, it pales by comparison to David Tepper's $3.5 billion take home, which amounts to about $400,000 per hour which the best paid hedge fund manager made in 2013.

Source: WSJ


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Wed, 05/28/2014 - 12:36 | 4802227 economics9698
economics9698's picture

Okay, okay, I will develop business skills for one of these jobs, is that better?  

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 12:37 | 4802236 DetectiveStern
DetectiveStern's picture

It's not who you know. It's who you blow.

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 12:41 | 4802249 observer007
observer007's picture

Another List:



Full list here:

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 12:43 | 4802261 outamyeffinway
outamyeffinway's picture

All these lists being made lately may prove very useful to someone. Just sayin'.


edit: for like xmas cards and stuff.

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 12:52 | 4802289 Badabing
Badabing's picture

Below is the full list of the Top 100 treasonous puppets and best paid CEO men and women in the US in 2013.


fixed it

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 13:25 | 4802345 lordylord
lordylord's picture

If you don't like it, don't buy their products/services.  Buy from mom and pop.  Stop bitching about it, especially you OWS types.  Time to put your money where your mouth is (or if you are an OWS type person: time to put other people's money where your mouth is). 

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 13:54 | 4802486 Blood Spattered...
Blood Spattered Banner's picture

STFU with this "vote with your wallet" nonsense..  Like the average consumer is purchasing enterprise databases from Larry Ellison, give me a fucking break.

The problem with over-compensated CEO's has nothing to do with consumer purchasing power, and/or consumer choice.  It has EVERYTHING to do with our corrupt financial system and rampant crony capitalism in this country.

So cut the nostalgic capitalism crap, those days are long gone.



Wed, 05/28/2014 - 14:03 | 4802511 lordylord
lordylord's picture

What's your solution to this "problem"?  Tax CEOs more?  Cap their pay?  Grow up and stop looking to government to "fix" your "problems". Let the free-market do it.  In this case, consumers can make a direct impact on many companies (e.g. walmart, GE, appel, the list goes on and on). 

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 14:21 | 4802564 Badabing
Badabing's picture

stop looking to government to "fix" your "problems

ok lets use rope

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 14:29 | 4802585 Blood Spattered...
Blood Spattered Banner's picture

You make so many assumptions that you are hard to take seriously.  Government is the last place to go to fix this.  In fact the 'Gubbermint' is a big reason for the state of crony capitalism we are dealing with today.  You want solutions?

- Throw a shitload of people in jail, from George Bush to Jamie Dimon

- Ban corporate lobbying altogether

- Dissolve House of Representatives and use technology to let people legislate

- End corporate welfare by immediately stopping ALL subsidies for profitable companies

- Charge businesses and corporations the same tax rate the average citizen pays, with all capital assets worldwide as taxable

...and the list goes on.  

I know this reply doesn't fit your simpleton mindset of "left vs. right"/"liberal vs. conservative", so hopefully your head doesn't explode after this sinks in.


Wed, 05/28/2014 - 13:05 | 4802313 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

/ I don't see any members of the Palestinian branch of Semites.  / sarc

Just observing a very special form of anti-Semitism -- given that Palestinians are Semites also, whose DNA traces longer and purer as "Indigenous" to the Holy Land than the DNA of most other inhabitants (i.e. those proclaiming Jewish heritage, whose DNA that actually traces back strongly to the original Jews of 67AD).

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 13:22 | 4802388 financialrealist
financialrealist's picture

how do i join...oh wait...Im an ivy league education and a billion short...maybe next time...

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 13:38 | 4802442 MasterOfTheMult...
MasterOfTheMultiverse's picture

Too bad for Larry he was not invited :(. Peter Thiel is though.

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 17:49 | 4803171 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

Peter Thiel is on the Bilderberg aptly named Steering Committee, he doesn't need to be "invited". . .

The Steering Committee also decides who is extended an invitation to attend Bilderberg Group meetings - based on "their experience, their knowledge, their standing and their contribution to the selected agenda.


man's got more than a few fingers in folks pies. . .

Fri, 05/30/2014 - 04:30 | 4808787 MasterOfTheMult...
MasterOfTheMultiverse's picture

Thanks, that's a very interesting fact.

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 12:41 | 4802250 Tao 4 the Show
Tao 4 the Show's picture

Or, by who you're owned.

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 12:55 | 4802299 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

It doesn't pay nearly as well as being a career Politician.  Pelosi has net worth of over 180 million dollars that she accumalated working in civil service.

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 15:32 | 4802782 MeMongo
MeMongo's picture

Blankfein, Wexler,scharf, Farr, sure reads like a bah mitzvah invite! But I'm sure all these people really have in common is that they are just super intelligent:-)

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 12:39 | 4802244 espirit
espirit's picture

I'm thinking we're going to need moar guillotines.

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 12:54 | 4802297 economics9698
economics9698's picture

Rope and trees work great.

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 13:24 | 4802396 ajax
ajax's picture



This list means nothing to anyone and there is no point talking about guillotines etc: the USA has no Robespierre.

Americans kill each other for fun not for political upheaval.

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 12:43 | 4802247 Theta_Burn
Theta_Burn's picture

Just think, if these guys were black, and unable to string a sentence together, but learned to run or dunk a ball they'd be earning a hell of alot more...

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 12:38 | 4802240 maskone909
maskone909's picture

what, no home addresses?

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 12:52 | 4802287 economics9698
economics9698's picture

Use the property appraisers’ office.  Works like a charm.

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 12:40 | 4802246 _SILENCER
_SILENCER's picture

That's some serious fuck you money. Lots of crime, war and utter disconnect from humanity going on there, I'd reckon.

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 12:41 | 4802248 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

The list will be useful later after the system collapse.

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 12:49 | 4802277 saints51
saints51's picture


Wed, 05/28/2014 - 12:41 | 4802254 slaughterer
slaughterer's picture

Lets send the Tepper family to Mars with a Space X shuttle.  He has earned enough on this planet.    

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 12:42 | 4802259 darteaus
darteaus's picture


One Real Ass Called Larry Ellison

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 13:07 | 4802332 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Do some digging, and you'll find that he bought 98% of one of the Hawaiian islands.  Lanai, I think.

He's either the ultimate private Doomsday Prepper, or a Megalomaniac.

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 13:11 | 4802343 edifice
edifice's picture


Wed, 05/28/2014 - 16:48 | 4802985 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

An amazingly shrewd businessman, who's gonna flip it (for double the price)?

To some nouveau-riche Chinese billionaire, who's looking to invest a good part of their Yen into some "quality RE"?

p.s. Thanks for the "pushback", to make me raise my game.

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 12:43 | 4802264 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture


Wed, 05/28/2014 - 13:14 | 4802349 lordylord
lordylord's picture

Maybe they are, maybe they are not.  If you don't like how much they are being paid, don't buy their products/services.  Put your money where your mouth is.

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 13:39 | 4802446 Zerozen
Zerozen's picture

At least nominally these men and women do something in the way of running companies that create something.

I wonder what the 100 best paid professional sports stars list would look like? I'll wager the median pay is at least comparable to, if not higher than, that for CEOs, yet you never, ever hear anyone bitching about how overpaid semi-literate sportsmen are. We humans sometime have our priorities backwards.


Wed, 05/28/2014 - 12:44 | 4802268 espirit
espirit's picture

The vacant cities in China are going be called home by these fucks.  Nowhere else will be safe.

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 13:26 | 4802407 ajax
ajax's picture



that's complete bullshit 'espirit'. Americans will never chase down their multi-millionaires, never.


Wed, 05/28/2014 - 14:12 | 4802539 free_lunch
free_lunch's picture

Of course not, because according to the American dream, tomorrow they will be the Billionaires!

Free markets! Capitalism! Open borders, end the tariffs, stop the protectionism, end the unions, lower taxes for the riches!

Free market Capitalism, the best system on earth.. It will create jobs and all the wealth will trickle down making everybody rich!


Einstein was wrong:


So let's hope the Free Markets and open borders will liberate the Scandinavian countries and bring them the American dream!


Wed, 05/28/2014 - 12:49 | 4802279 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

It might behoove those in the top 20% and up brackets to support the 1%, lest their incomes fall even faster.

The 1% can be quite generous, when the mood takes them.

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 12:54 | 4802298 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Lists such as these are going to be tremendously useful in the coming years.

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 13:04 | 4802326 orangegeek
orangegeek's picture

Another good read to keep the anxiety levels down.


Wed, 05/28/2014 - 13:12 | 4802347 MasterOfTheMult...
MasterOfTheMultiverse's picture

Interestingly, no Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft. Perhaps their CEO's truly believe in the "Don't Be Evil" motto? Actually, average salary at Oracle is reportedly $95,000 (, only 809 times less than Ellison's, so why whine. Plus, Ellison's compensation was all stock options, hence if the company falters in the next 2-3 years due to expected general economic collapse, his compensation could be abolished to less than zero. Hope he has some capital stuffed in Bermuda or Fiji, though hiding from the hungry masses will not an option. Steak Ellison épais bien cuit, quiconque?

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 13:23 | 4802385 lordylord
lordylord's picture

Yeah right, because everyone who make over $1,000,000 per year is evil.  Maybe they earn it, maybe they don't.  Some sure do, some sure don' is hard to tell, but your comment sounds like jelousy to me.  Don't like it Mult?  Don't buy their products/services.  Time for you to put your money where your mouth is.

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 13:35 | 4802435 MasterOfTheMult...
MasterOfTheMultiverse's picture

No choice to buy or not buy Oracle products, MySQL/Java etc. are implemented in almost every internet/web/OS application on the planet. Global monopoly aside, no CEO is worth 800x-1000x the average employee income. 

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 13:44 | 4802464 Zerozen
Zerozen's picture

What about founder-CEOs who might have a significant stake in the company they founded and grew from nothing?

I can see the argument for a politician-type CEO who kissed ass at the right place at the right time to get into the top position but didn't really build anything, just climbed the corporate ladder.

But for a Gates or Ellison I don't really care what they take out of their companies. Those are their companies, they were there from the beginning, they can pay themselves whatever they want.

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 13:57 | 4802497 lordylord
lordylord's picture

Well said.  Though I don't like Gates, you can't deny that he has employed many thousands and improved the lives of millions through his products.  But hey, let's tax the shit out of producers and cap their pay.  That should work out well. 

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 14:23 | 4802565 MasterOfTheMult...
MasterOfTheMultiverse's picture

What about open source software? Internet/information tech started as a free service. The more commercialized, the less open it becomes.

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 15:34 | 4802788 free_lunch
free_lunch's picture

So you are sure all those "self made" billionaires did it all by themselves from their garage?

Are you sure they are what the media says they are? Because sometimes I wonder, if they are not just poster boys to keep people defending the American dream, accepting unprecedented wealth in the hand of few / build a worldwide information gathering tool without attracting suspicion.

Just a wild conspiracy theory, i admit, but given the other manipulations/ conspiracy theories that have proved to be fact recently, not completely impossible..

Before Google took over there were plenty very well performing search engines on the web. But then Google came along and wiped them of the face of the earth within less then one year. If you would have programmed Google, would you have had the same global free media coverage (promotion) as them?

Would you have gotten multi-millions from certain investors/banks to outrun the competition that was already there? Would you get enough funds to hire an army of lawyers for legal protection and patents to protect your idea? Would you have enough funding to let you take over the market fast enough before you could be outcompeted by someone with more connections and money who copied your idea?

Is the American dream real at this day and age, can anyone become a Billionaire? Or is it a myth that is being fed on the people for political and other reasons? I want to believe it is/was real, but having a overdevelopped imagination, at my worst moments I sometimes wonder..

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 17:55 | 4803211 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

really enjoying your posts lately. . .

righteous anger can be quite eloquent when sharp questions are raised.


Wed, 05/28/2014 - 13:48 | 4802469 lordylord
lordylord's picture

"No choice to buy or not buy Oracle products"

Whatever you need to tell yourself to gain your false sense of moral superiority. 

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 14:45 | 4802551 MasterOfTheMult...
MasterOfTheMultiverse's picture

Sounds like preprinted lobbyist speak for the ICT industry and the rotten state of (inter)national compensation policies in general. Defame facts as lies/fraud to keep the status quo and take advantage of the sad truth that the general public is not interested in the financial details that undermine their own financial interests, i.e. 5 second sound bites make more policy than a thorough factual analysis. Fact is that the whole issue with economic inequality stems a lot from the ability of CEO's/managers to determine their own remuneration when deregulation policies by Reagan/Thatcher kicked in around the 80's  (I welcome knee-jerk liberal BS hatred, prefer scientific counter-arguments). This has been scientifically proven but of course will be aggressively assaulted by the few beneficiaries of these policies that are wrecking the global economy in the meantime. Inequality is certainly not the result of "free market" alchemy

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 15:06 | 4802698 BadLibertarian
BadLibertarian's picture

Sorry, but how much money have you paid to purchase MySQL or Java? Both products are free.

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 15:20 | 4802746 MasterOfTheMult...
MasterOfTheMultiverse's picture

And despite these "free" products, the developer "earns" 1000x the average employee's compensation. Please explain how that is possible and/or reasonable.  

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 13:26 | 4802404 One And Only
One And Only's picture

Internet search: Larry Ellison CIA

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 13:26 | 4802406 overexposed
overexposed's picture

LARRY ELLISON RULES!  Gonna have to get my Larry poster back up on the wall!

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 13:33 | 4802429 deflator
deflator's picture

 You do realize that the Earth will stop spinning on its axis without all of these great CEO's?

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 13:39 | 4802445 Dre4dwolf
Dre4dwolf's picture

Maybe if it wasn't spinning, everyone wouldn't be dizzy and vomiting all over the place.

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 13:35 | 4802433 Walt D.
Walt D.'s picture

While I would not turn up my nose to a $76 million salary, this is chump change to Larry Ellison. Since this is taxed, he would need to earn this for 300 years just to make $10 billion dollars of his multi-billion dollar fortune.

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 13:43 | 4802460 villainvomit
villainvomit's picture

Poor Jamie.....bitch slapped out of the top 100 !  Ha!

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 14:44 | 4802626 MasterOfTheMult...
MasterOfTheMultiverse's picture

Uhm, he's actually on 32...

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 15:41 | 4802809 Caveman93
Caveman93's picture

Nice hit list there!

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 16:18 | 4802909 Mediocritas
Mediocritas's picture

Scientific studies demonstrate that higher pay leads to worse performance for "thinking" jobs, and that the opposite is true for manual jobs:

Greed ignores science at the top, but you'd think shareholders might get a clue and veto excessive compensation for their own benefit (if they care about company performance that is). How is it that US CEO pay can be justified by performance alongside much lower Japanese CEO pay?

It's a simple way to boost productivity, pay the fry cooks more and the CEOs less. One way is to limit CEO remuneration to a multiple of the smallest pay packet of any employee in the firm.

Bound to blow a few gaskets amongst the dogmatic free market fundamentalists that hang around here but fuck 'em. Scientific fact beats dogmatic belief every time.

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 17:49 | 4803174 Chuck Knoblauch
Chuck Knoblauch's picture





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