For about five minutes after the collapse of the global economy in 2008, the public’s anger was focused enough to cause a temporary cutback in the abuse of corporate jet perks by rich executives. Clearly, those days are over.
The FT has published a long investigative story today about the use of corporate jets for personal trips by executives at large public companies in the US. Read it all why don’t you! As you peruse its findings, please keep in mind that
- These are public companies, meaning its shareholders are paying for these private jet flights;
- Even if you believe corporate executives’ time is so valuable that they require private jets for business trips, it is hard to argue that they need private jets for personal trips, paid for by their shareholders; and,
- These corporate executives are rich and could well afford to purchase their own fucking travel.
With those facts in mind, here are just a few of the FT’s findings:
- Barry Diller, the billionaire chairman of IAC, “has consistently taken personal flights worth more than $1m a year on a jet co-owned by [his] companies.” The bill was $1.7 million in 2014, making him the single biggest jet abuser in corporate America. The fourth-biggest personal user of corporate jets in 2014, by the way, was CBS boss Les Moonves, who gobbled up this perk at the expense of his shareholders despite the fact that many believe he is the single most overpaid CEO in the country. What a greedy prick.
- Morgan Stanley (yes—a public company!) spent $238,000 on a single trip for its CEO James Gorman to fly to Australia for his mother’s funeral. We all have mothers, James Gorman, and we all earn less money than you, and yet we are expected to pay for your flight to your mother’s funeral, and you do not pay for our flights to our mothers’ funerals. Odd.
- In 2014, Comcast’s $1.2 million in spending on corporate jets for executives ended up costing its shareholders $3.75 million, thanks to tax deductions that the company missed as a result. No wonder these managers are so well-compensated, what with financial wizardry such as that.
Charging shareholders of a public company for your personal trips on a corporate jet should be outlawed. You fucks.