Lehman Brothers: Who Gets Hurt?
Matt Yglesias snarks,
Unlike the guy who runs Lehman Brothers, the guys who clean the bathrooms in the Lehman Brothers office have, as best one can tell, been doing an excellent job. And yet if the company going under results in everyone involved losing their jobs, the guy who runs Lehman will wind up being better off than the guys who clean the bathrooms. This is because in the United States of America, hard work is the way to get ahead.
Now that’s a great line. But is it really true?
A March AP story reported that “Lehman Brothers Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Richard Fuld received compensation valued at $22.1 million in 2007, a year in which the company weathered the subprime mortgage collapse better than its rivals.” That last clause has suddenly been overtaken by events, obviously, but one presumes Fuld will see his compensation drop rather starkly.
The story does not have comparables for the custodial staff. Salary.com puts the median salary for “anitor” in the United Sates at $23,839. Given that Lehman was headquartered in Manhattan, let’s say they paid their’s $30,000.
I’m guessing that it’s going to be far easier for Lehman’s janitorial staff than their executives to find comparable replacement positions.