Stat of the day: $16.7m

The average pay of the 25 top US chief executives, which is more than the amount their companies paid in federal income tax.

Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013
If you thought bankers’ bonuses in the UK were controversial, it’s small change compared to what some companies have been paying their top staff in the US.

Last year 25 major US firms paid more to their CEOs than to the federal tax collectors.  The 25 CEOs from companies including eBay, Verizon and Boeing were paid an average of $16.7m in 2010, according to a report by the Institute for Policy Studies.

The most profitable of the 25 firms was General Electric, which reported $5.1bn in US pre-tax income last year and received a $3.3bn tax refund, according to the report. At the same time its chief executive Jeff Immelt was paid $15.2m. That’s all the US government needs to hear after coming close to defaulting on its debts.

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