New York's third-richest resident, Carl Icahn, is weighing in on the events of the past few days on his blog. He's not in a very good mood, not surprisingly, but he's particularly peeved about the sweet payouts that CEOs of failed financial institutions are set to receive, despite the fact that shareholders will get royally screwed. Some of the folks who have benefited (or will benefit) from "egregious golden parachutes" and should not expect a Christmas card from Carl this year (or an invite to join him on his yacht): Bob Willumstad, the CEO of AIG; Stan O'Neal, the ex-CEO of Merrill Lynch; Chuck Prince, Citi's former chief; and Daniel Mudd, the outgoing CEO of Fannie Mae.
This is how Carl operates:
When I took over a rail freight car company called ACF during the 1980s, they had 12 floors in a Manhattan office building which was filled with workers. I couldn't figure out what they did. I really tried to find out what these people did and even went so far as to pay $500,000 to a consultant to study the issue and get back to me. After weeks of research, even the consultant couldn't figure it out. So I shut down the division and it had no discernable impact on the performance of the company, which I own to this day.