"Macquarie Bank bosses' pay cut after profit cut warning", was the headline of an article by Michael Sainsbury and Katherine Jimenez, in the May 21 Australian.
"The party appears to be over for one of Australia's most successful global companies — at least for now.
"Macquarie Group has warned it won't repeat its $1.8 billion profit next year, as its executives got their first ever pay cut …"
The poor things! Retiring CEO of the "Millionaires Factory", Allan Moss received a measley $26.7 million in the 12 months ending March 31, compared with $33.5million the previous year. Nicholas Moore, Moss' successor, had his pay cut $32.9 million to $24.8 million. Moore's new No 2, Michael Carapiet, had his pay cut from $22.9 million to $19.1 million.
"Moore is 19% down on his previous year's salary and Moss is 26% down on his previous year's salary", noted Stuart Washington noted in the May 20 Sydney Morning Herald.
"Nevertheless, the payout figures in the annual report means Moore earned almost 80 times the $336,000 salary earned by the Prime Minister, and is 453 times the average NSW worker's salary of $59,000.
"It also equates to Mr Moore earning $3053 an hour, awake or asleep, all year."
That's the "hard life" on their side of the tracks.
Meanwhile, an Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute survey of 400 households that recently purchased homes in the "mortgage belts" of Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne found was that almost 50% were relying on either overtime or a second job of the main income earner to meet mortgage repayments.
The National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM) estimates that 1.1 million households (220,000 more than in 2004) are in housing stress — i.e. they are spending a third or more of their gross income on rent or the mortgage.
Home repossession orders in NSW rose by 67% over two years to 5454 in 2007, and repossession orders in Victoria tripled in the four years to June 2007.
However, according to Roger Mendelson, chief executive officer of Prushka Fast Debt Recovery, a debt collection agency, total mortgage defaults may be four times higher than the repossession orders.
"Debtland" the March 31 episode of ABC TV's Four Corners program reported:
"As many as 300,000 Australian households may be at risk of losing their homes. It mightn't take much — another rate rise or two, a family illness or maybe just the car breaking down — to send people under."
Things are also getting tougher for the third or more of Australian households that are renting. Rents are rising faster than wages, NSW Housing Minister Matt Brown was forced to concede, according to the May 8 SMH.
"The Consumer Price Index (CPI) last year was 3.9%, whereas the median rent for a two-bedroom unit in Sydney has gone up by some 12.5%. These numbers confirm that families are doing it tough."
If you don't feel sorry for the bankers who have taken a little cut in their obscene pay, federal opposition leader Brendan Nelson does. He told a Sydney luncheon for bankers in April that while it was tough for families to lose their homes when they couldn't pay the mortgage, it was also hard on the people evicting them.
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