It would take 441,400 Americans making $50,000 a year to match the salaries of the top 25 hedge-fund managers combined. Also, unlike most Americans, hedge-fund managers can make that kind of money even when their funds don't perform well — fees from state pension funds, college endowments, and wealthy individuals are collected regardless of profit or loss. Bradley H. Alford, of Alpha Capital Management, is worried about what this does to the state of American bowels. “You can’t feel good giving 30 percent of your returns to some guy who was up single digits. That has to give you indigestion.” But there is one small sliver of schadenfreude. In 2009, the 25 best-paid hedge-fund managers raked in a combined $25.33 billion and had to make $350 million annually to make the cut. This year the top 25 had to get paid only $210 million. Something to take solace in while they're taking your fees from your state pension.
Highest Paid Hedge Fund Managers Slipped In 2010 [Dealbreaker]
25 Hedge Managers Earn as Much as 441,400 Americans [NYT via CNBC]
Update: Apparently hedge-fund managers aren't the only segment of the executive strata eclipsing the rest of us. Last year, CEO pay increased 27 percent, rebounding back to prerecession levels. Three quarters of CEOs got raises, in many cases substantial ones. Their employees, not so much. Workers at private companies saw their salaries grow just 2.1 percent. CEO pay grew along with increases in stock prices, but unemployment didn't get the same boost. Kevin Murphy, a finance professor at the University of Southern California, calls it a "recipe for controversy." Great, more indigestion.