Head of the Securities and Exchange Commission Mary Schapiro made quite a good living for herself while heading FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority which is supported by dues from the industry, making a total of $9 million in 2008, the very year the financial crisis hit. How can that be? ZeroHedge notes that a new report details how exactly Schapiro was able to make so much money:
In essence, Mary Schapiro made sure that the biggest component of her benefits package would be the same as during the market peak year, despite a 20%+ drop in Finra’ assets.… the head of the primary, and most worthless, SRO [self-regulatory organization] of the country, which allowed Madoff to operate for decades, was getting paid in the same comp bracket as THE NYSE CEO AND HEADS OF INVESTMENT BANKS!
BusinessInsider provides this little tidbit: $9 million is what Lloyd Blankfein made last year (in stock).
Why so much? The report says that the compensation was determined in order to “enable FINRA to hire and retain the quality of executives needed to carry out effectively FINRA’s regulatory mission.” But the gaping hole in this logic is that these executives did not carry out effectively FINRA’s regulatory mission — as evidenced by its failure to detect and halt Bernie Madoff’s ponzi scheme.