You could not ask for a better example of the meritocratic fallacy than the treatment of CEOs of bankrupt companies. This FT article documents the multimillion-dollar "retention bonuses" paid to execs who drove their companies into bankruptcy.
And even more pointedly, Naked Capitalism's Yves Smith marks up the article to point out just how ludicrous and indefensible these payouts are.
The theory behind the bonuses is that the companies are already facing traumatic disruption as they restructure in bankruptcy, zeroing out worker pensions, destroying key suppliers by stiffing them on their bills, etc.
With all that going on, keeping the CEO on is vital to preserve continuity during difficult times.
But those difficult times are the fault of the CEO.
And before you think, "Wait, you can't blame it all on one exec," recall that if the company had thrived, all CREDIT would have accrued to the same empty suit.
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