While I was bailing…

April 17, 2007

images-13.jpegFirst, a quick programming note. I’ll be on CNBC’s Power Lunch around 12:55 (est) today talking about some of the crazy perks we’ve been seeing this proxy season. Now — on to some of the things that were filed while I was bailing out my basement.

Judging by the proxy that Bluefly (BFLY) filed yesterday, total compensation of $6.1 million isn’t enough to afford a decent place to live in the New York City metro area. How else to explain why CEO Melissa Payner needs a $4,000 a month housing allowance “to offset the costs associated with the living expenses associated with the company’s New York City headquarters.” Too bad Bluefly shareholders, who have watched the stock go from bad to worse, aren’t able to get their own subsidy.

Another recipient of Section 8 for CEOs was Global Industries (GLBL) former Chairman and CEO William Dore, who according to the proxy rang up $83K in expenses for “an apartment provided to him by the Company during his displacement as a result of Hurricane Rita”. There’s two problems with that disclosure. One is that Hurricane Rita took place in 2005, not 2006. The other is that the median cost of an apartment in Carlyss, La. where the company is based is a whopping $287 a month, or roughly 1/24 of what Dore managed to spend.

And, in the category that presiding over a shoe empire is a bit more stressful than one might think, Kenneth Cole Productions (KCP) disclosed that it spent $107K last year to provide Kenneth Cole with a security guard. While the disclosure was new, it’s not clear if the perk was too. Finally, there was the $221K that Timberland (TBL) CEO Jeffrey Swartz spent on personal use of the company’s corporate jet. Judging by the company’s chart a bit more time at the office might have been helpful.

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