Recently, researchers Sanjai Bhagat and Brian Bolton studied the stock holdings and sales of the 14 CEOs who headed the 14 US financial institutions that received TARP funding to survive. The list included the losers after the 2008 meltdown (like Lehmann bros.) and winners (like Goldman Sachs).
All of them owned stock in their own financial institution and all of them traded their stock as individuals. Cumulatively, in 2000, the 14 CEOs held $6.8 billion of their own institution’s stock (about $485 per CEO) and from 2000 to 2008, their wealth from trades grew to $1.8 billion each.
When the crash came, they had paper losses of $2.0 billion in the crash, but their personal wealth had collectively grown by $649 million and they still had $939 million in net stock holdings. Even with all of their losses, they came out of the disaster with a profit of $46 million per CEO with another $67 million in their stock portfolio.
(And this is unrelated to their official compensation which averaged about $890 million per person, per year.)
Meanwhile, among the recipients of their greedy, immoral, and frequently illegal behavior, millions lost their jobs, millions more lost their homes, tens of millions were thrown into poverty, and even more kept their jobs but had severe declines in income. And not one CEO is in jail.
For more on executive pay, see http://www.huffingtonpost.com/roger-martin/post_2008_b_857945.html