The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

New treasury secretary brings great credentials
– for a boss

Jan 6, 2003

A new treasury secretary has been proposed by the administration: John Snow.

Snow is portrayed as honest, upright – a man to inspire confidence, an example of what government officials should be.

Or so says the Bush administration.

We can seen what the administration has in mind when we look at Snow's history. Since 1991, Snow was president and chief executive officer of the CSX Corporation.

Year after year, Snow's salary increased. By 2000, his compensation hit 8.7 million dollars.

In that same year, CSX was cited by the federal government for significant track-safety violations. The company also ran into trouble over its merger with Conrail. So Snow recommended he get no bonus on top of his multi-million dollar salary.

The board of directors made it up to him with stock options – and they forgave a 24 million dollar loan they had extended to him in 1996.

This past summer, CSX announced that its third-quarter outlook was poor. The stock fell in value by about a third. Mr. Snow, however, had sold off four million dollars of stock just a month before. What a good piece of "luck" for Mr. Snow!

Snow presents a good example, alright – of corporate greed.