The Inside Agenda Blog

Rebranding Capitalism: What a Difference a Year Makes

by Melissa Martin Wednesday October 28, 2009

Money is a funny thing. Ever since the “great recession” it has been getting a bad rap. All of a sudden it’s a bad thing to make loads of cash. At least, people don’t flaunt it like they used to. The days of private jets, $87,000 office rugs and huge bonuses are over, for now.

Today’s program is called “rebranding capitalism” and we are going to examine how the capitalist society is undergoing an image make-over.  It seems before the financial crisis, people were more comfortable with a brand of capitalism focused on making lots and lots of money. But now if you turn a huge profit you’re called a “great vampire squid

Things are different now in the States because after the bailout, the shareholders of the top investment banks are now the American people. Every single person that pays taxes in the U.S. owns a chunk of Goldman Sachs and Mr. and Mrs. John Q Taxpayer don’t want to see any indication that bank executives could be swimming in their hard-earned cash.

Times have changed. Back in June of 2006 the Globe and Mail published an article called “CEO’s Might be Worth their Pay Cheques”.  Check out an excerpt:

“According to the researchers, soaring compensation at top corporations -- far from being a greedy money grab or the product of board collusion -- is generally justified in light of the growing responsibilities placed on executives, regardless of how well a CEO ultimately performs in terms of profits or short-term share-price gains.”

Fast forward to today and I don’t think you will find many people who would agree with this article. Of course, many of the CEO’s were responsible for driving their companies into the ground so its hard to argue that they are worth the massive amounts of money they once made.

So, are we at the beginning of a new era? Are we going to see CEO’s making hundreds of thousands of dollars instead of millions? Are the days of private jets and expensive rugs behind us? Or, will we get past this crisis and in a few years CEO’s will be flying high again and $87,000 rugs will be the norm.


Business    Business & Technology