Much outrage has been spent on the retreats, private jets, and bonuses at companies that are being bailed out by taxpayers. Some companies have responded by paring back the perks—or paying back the cost of them. Many, however, are still on the hook for generous benefits bestowed upon CEOs and others who stepped down before the bottom dropped out of the economy.
These executives may no longer be calling the shots at their companies—indeed, their companies may no longer exist. But someone’s still paying for their private jets, chauffered cars, secretaries, and other perks. That someone is shareholders, and at banks bailed out by the government, the shareholders include everyone who pays taxes.
It’s impossible to know how much the free office space and other goodies cost, since there are no rules requiring companies to disclose what they spend on former executives. Here are a few examples: