You can win in a court of law and still get attacked in the court of public opinion. That’s what former New York Stock Exchange Chairman Dick Grasso would have learned from MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” July 2.
Host Mika Brzezinski called Grasso a “poster child for Wall Street excess” in reporting a New York State Supreme Court ruling allowing Grasso to keep his $187.5 million pension payout.
“There you go, a little justice there,” Brzezinski said. “Jack Welch calls it justice; I call it a very large pay package. It’s a lot of money, Jack.”
Former General Electric (NYSE: GE) Chairman Jack Welch came to Grasso’s defense. “It’s a lot of money, but it was well earned and it was given to him by the board of directors and he took it,” Welch said. “I haven’t seen any CEOs in my lifetime who said, ‘please, please keep it.’”
In a later segment, guest host Pat Buchanan piled on Grasso as well. “A 190-million-bucks going away present after 9-11? You don’t see the problem there? We got a problem in
But Kudlow joined Welch in defending his “friend,” Grasso.
Early in the segment Kudlow described the work Grasso did after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the NYSE.
“Dick Grasso is a great American, for a number of reasons,” Kudlow said to Buchanan. “At 9-11 … in the next ten days with Herculean efforts he got the
Grasso was locked in a multiyear battle with former
Grasso rose from clerk to chairman over the 35 years he spent working at the NYSE. The International Herald Tribune reported July 2 that even though there was a large sum of money at stake for Grasso, his fight was not about money but honor and despite pressure from Spitzer, Grasso did not want to settle the case.