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Published in Slate May 11, 2009 by Ray Fisman.

The real reason CEO compensation got out of hand

Last fall, with headlines of million-dollar Wall Street bonuses appearing amid the worst economic crisis in a generation, I attended a lecture on corporate ethics by the CEO of one of America’s most venerable corporations. This captain of American industry was critical of the compensation committees and formulas that generated these outsize payouts and felt that in his own case, he didn’t deserve more than $10 million, regardless of what the committee came up with.

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