Quote of the day:
For his part, Mr. Grasso demonstrated a remarkably impaired capacity to calculate the impression on both the man in the street and the man in the Street of his carting away four times as much as the exchange earned last year. Little noted and less commented on was that his booty included a $5 million bonus for making sure trading resumed a week after 9/11.
That strikes us as a singular act of witless generosity on the part of the directors, who were his nominal paymasters, but, in reality, functioned as his personal ATM machine. As head of the exchange, isn’t that what Mr. Grasso was supposed to do? Perhaps we missed it, but we don’t remember bonuses being awarded to the firemen, the cops, the hard hats, the medics or the scores of others who did their jobs at some greater risk and incurring a bit more inconvenience than did Mr. Grasso during those horrific days and nights without end.
In denial right to the last, Mr. Grasso adamantly rejected any notion that there was anything untoward or even unseemly in his massive slurping at the exchange trough. An incredibly long and mostly improbable list of names was floated as possible replacements; much to our disappointment, it did not include Saddam Hussein, but only, it turns out, because he failed to leave his cell-phone number.
Barron’s, Up And Down Wall Street
September 22, 2003
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