CEOs, hedge-fund managers and the average worker

Last year, the average CEO of a major U.S. company made as much in one day as the average American worker made in a year.

But the people who really made out were private-equity and hedge-fund managers. It only took them eight minutes to snag as much as the average worker earned in a year. They made, on average, an astonishing $657.5 million—60 times as much as the CEOs did.

Even better for them, most of that money is taxed at the capital-gains rate, 15 percent, rather than at 35 percent, the highest income tax rate. Democrats in Congress, fearful of losing campaign contributions, have resisted an effort to close the loophole, even though it would bring as much as $50 billion into the federal treasury.

Source: “Executive Excess 2007: The Staggering Social Cost of U.S. Business Leadership,” a report by the Institute for Policy Studies and United for a Fair Economy.