Is Hillary Clinton in the Bottom 3 Percent? Turning the Corner on CEO Pay

Most of the people who have direct dealings with the former secretary of state seem to regard her very highly, certainly not in the bottom 3 percent of the population. The same could be said about former Florida governor and likely presidential candidate Jeb Bush. Erskine Bowles, the former Clinton chief of staff and patron saint of the deficit hawks also would not usually be put in the bottom 3 percent.

What these three people have in common is that they have all served stints as directors on corporate boards. Hillary Clinton served on the board of directors of Walmart from 1986 to 1992. Bush served on the boards of Tenet Healthcare and Rayonier. Bowles sat on the boards of Morgan Stanley, General Motors, as well as some companies that have not needed government bailouts.

Clinton, Bush and Bowles are among the thousands of prominent and successful individuals who sit on the boards of major corporations. It’s good work if you can get it. The pay is typically several hundred thousand dollars a year in exchange for showing up at six to 10 board meetings.

This is not a job where poor performance carries much of a price. Erskine Bowles was on the board of Morgan Stanley in 2008 when the Fed had to turn it into a bank holding company on an emergency basis to save it from bankruptcy. Bowles is still there today as lead director.

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