Sam Zell is here to remind you that the 1% don’t make enough money
Real estate kingpins Jerry Speyer and Sam Zell were lucky they had an elite audience for their joint appearance Tuesday at DLA Piper’s annual real estate conference in Chicago. A different group might have called them out for a few comments. Speyer, for example, assailed proposals to rein in CEO pay as an example of governmental fussiness that people can’t stand.
“People at all levels are getting sick and tired of it,” Speyer said. They are sick and tired of a lot, but I’d put CEO pay on the list, not attempts to control it.
“We need animal spirits” in our business executives, Zell intoned. He spoke out against attempts to limit salaries at Wall Street firms to $500,000 a year, fretting that without sky’s-the-limit compensation, dealmakers won’t work so hard. “I’m afraid our whole work ethic in this country is in danger,” Zell said.
This gives an idea of what that Occupy Wall Street movement was up against. It’s a counter-insurgency called Own Wall Street.
Photo of Sam Zell by Charles Rex Arbogast