At least, I think it’s the first. Pro Publica reports South Financial Group, a bank in South Carolina, has been approved to receive $347 million as part of the federal government bailout of the financial sector. Founder and double-decade CEO Mack Whittle retired two months early (coincidence?) and walked away with an $18 million severance package. His retirement comes before restrictions on golden parachutes will affect SFG’s receipt of taxpayer money.
Certainly $18 million pales in comparison to the parachutes rampant in big business’ golden showers. Still, Whittle oversaw the poor decision-making that has brought the SFG to the brink of failure, dependent on government money to stay afloat. Why he’s entitled to a $133,920 auto allowance and $75,000 for financial planning, only Beelzebub knows.
The delicious silver lining? Apparently, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) is calling for an investigation into Whittle’s early retirement, accusing him of “gaming the system.” According to Talking Points Memo, Whittle had grown dissatisfied with Sanford’s treatment of the business sector and backed another cat’s effort to unseat the governor in 2006.
These corporate executives who are looking for the huge pay-day as unemployment numbers grow into the millions better watch out. Their greed and mismanagement has brought the world to a global meltdown – to radiate a “let them eat cake” attitude will surely earn them an “off with their heads” response. The electorate is growing tired of the hoarding of wealth at the top of the economic totem pole and surely our representatives are on the receiving end of their rightful earful.
Whittle, like the rest of us, should have saved for retirement and faded into the sunset full of self-doubt over his leadership spanning the housing boom. There’s enough blame to go around and he should grow up, exit Neverland stage left and eat his fair share of the shit pie he helped cook.