DealZone

Grasso’s curse

June 3, 2008

grasso.jpgThe antagonists of former New York Stock Exchange CEO Richard Grasso haven’t fared well in the five years since he was ousted, amid a public outcry over his $187.5 million compensation package.

As the legal battle over his payday heads to the New York Court of Appeals, former Attorney General Eliot Spitzer’s reputation is in tatters, and many of the NYSE board members who forced Grasso out are now out of work themselves.

Tuesday’s trial could be a showstopper for Wall Street, reliving an embarrassing drama for the NYSE. Potential witnesses include U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and ex-Bear Stearns chairman James Cayne, who were both members of the NYSE’s compensation committee — as well as Spitzer himself.

As the New York Times reported, “the misfortunes that have afflicted a long list of stock exchange directors, all of whom were handpicked by Mr. Grasso, is enough to make one wonder about evil spirits swirling in the stock exchange’s boardroom.”

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