"One of the nation's largest unions is calling for 29 financial-services companies to investigate more than $5 billion in pay given to the firms' five highest-paid executives," according to Dow Jones Newswires. "The pension funds of the Service Employees International Union wants the companies' boards to review whether the compensation was 'tied to derivatives and other questionable instruments that are now worthless.'"
A recent National Law Journal piece (subscription only) offerd this perspective:
The high compensation should be returned to the companies, said the SEIU's lawyer, Jay Eisenhofer [right], manging partner of Grant & Eisenhofer, because it was based on record-setting financial results that have since been wrtiten off. "There ought to be two things looked at," Eisnhofer said. "Whether or not some portion of compensation should be repaid to the companies that have really suffered and whether or not there's some way of designing compensation systems going forward that might serve companies and shareholders better than the compensation systems that have led us to these problems."