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Pay For Performance Not What You Expected

I don’t begrudge the $15.3 million annual salary that Texas Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus is knocking down this year, or even the $24 million that Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder will pocket.

The same goes for the $75 million that actor Robert Downey Jr. pocketed last year — more power to these gentlemen.

Indeed, all of them possess exceptional talents, and their agents negotiated the best money deals possible for them. These deals were struck in arm’s length transactions with rational, willing buyers of their talents — a professional baseball team and movie studio in these instances.

So big payouts such as those are fine by me. I don’t care.

1291201?profile=RESIZE_320x320But the same cannot be said for the exorbitant pay packages of corporate chief executive officers, which I find distasteful on two fronts.

First, the relationship between corporate boards of directors, who set compensation levels, and their CEOs is much too incestuous to resemble anything remotely akin to free market negotiations.


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Why CEO Pay Is So High (And Going Higher)

The numbers are in on 2014 CEO compensation, and as the old Seinfeld joke goes, they are real and they are spectacular. CEO pay is also controversial as the income gap widens in America.

The average S&P 500 company CEO made 373 times the salary of the average production and non-supervisory worker in 2014, up from 331 times in 2013, according to the AFL-CIO.

Why is CEO pay rising sharply, and how are CEO pay packages structured to maximize executive compensation? Here are the basics you need to know to understand the big numbers behind the CEO headlines.

1. How much do CEOs get paid?

The average pay package last year was $22.6 million, up from $20.7 million in 2013, according to an analysis of companies' proxy disclosures by executive-compensation data firm Equilar.

The average gain in total compensation for the 200 highest-paid U.S. CEOs worked out to 9.1 percent last year. That handily thrashed the 2.4 percent economic growth and meager increase in personal income that other American

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