Treasury Department Delays GM CEO Rick Wagoner's $20 Million Golden Parachute

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
treasury department delays gm ceo rick wagoner s 20 million golden parachute

In an article about US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s inability to tie his own shoes, the Washington Post leads with the heretofore disclosed fact that Wagoner’s looking forward to a $20 million payday. While the Post paints Geithner as an incompetent manager, that’s a no-win proposition no matter how you look at it. Stiff Rick and the guy’s bound to reveal the finer points of Uncle Sam’s takeover of a [former] blue chip company, including the deal they promised Wagoner to get him to jump. Pay him off and the howls of indignation will rile the nation, pissing off potential GM customers, further sinking “good” GM’s ability to sell someone a car.

Did Timbo and his Presidential Task Force on Automobiles think they could sneak in the $20 million golden FO&D amongst the rest of the thousands of GM creditors who will seek financial redress from the federally owned and operated automaker? What’s the bet the PTFOA’s negotiating with Rick right now, for some kind of less shocking annuity or a plain old reduction? I’d also wager that Wagoner is a plenty tough guy to do business with—when it’s HIS money in play.

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4 of 12 comments
  • Indi500fan Indi500fan on May 18, 2009

    Me thinks $20 mil for red ink Rick will be small potatoes compared to the reaction of average taxpayers when they find out they are funding tens of billions for $3200 / month UAW pensions and platinum benefits.

  • Jkross22 Jkross22 on May 18, 2009

    I have a simple solution to this. Don't pay him. Put Wagoner in the position to have to sue the Fed Gov't to collect this $20m, unless he agrees to negotiate the amount down to something like $1-2mm. Get this thing tied up in court, forcing Wagoner to hire attorneys and expend money. I would have to believe that this kind of 'gun to the head' approach would work with Wagoner. Since he really hasn't earned a nickel of his severance or retirement or whatever pot of gold we want to call this, just keep delaying paying him. Since the Feds most likely have an army of salaried attorneys, how much would this really wind up costing the taxpayer.

  • Redbarchetta Redbarchetta on May 18, 2009

    We should be charging his ass for the damage he did to the company while he was head honcho not rewarding him. Didn't he destroy about 90% of GM's value while he was in charge, I think it's fair for us taxpayers who are paying ot clean up his mess to take 90% of his net worth earn while operating as CEO. Sounds fair to me, or better yet listen to Buickman and send him off to prison.

  • Robert.Walter Robert.Walter on May 18, 2009

    Redbar...: I was thinking along similar lines for about a year now, but w.r.t. the bankers ... can't tell me that if they had to give back 90% of everything over 5M USD/year for the last 5 years running that they would suffer... let them start from "zero" as many of our 401(k) will have to do... I also remember Rick's testimony regarding the 1$/year and having to pay his son's tuition ... where does sonny-boy go to school, and how many decades does daddy expect to have to fund him?? (just another lame-o statement from the king of gold-plated polished turd statements... full-disclosure: I was OK with Mullaly's answer to the same question: "I think I am fine where I am.")