MSNBC Host: Former NYSE Chief 'Poster Child' for 'Excess'
You can win in a court of law and still get attacked in the court of public opinion. That‚Äôs what former New York Stock Exchange Chairman Dick Grasso would have learned from MSNBC‚Äôs ‚ÄúMorning Joe‚ÄĚ July 2.
Host Mika Brzezinski called Grasso a ‚Äúposter child for Wall Street excess‚ÄĚ in reporting a New York State Supreme Court ruling allowing Grasso to keep his $187.5 million pension payout.
‚ÄúThere you go, a little justice there,‚ÄĚ Brzezinski said. ‚ÄúJack Welch calls it justice; I call it a very large pay package. It‚Äôs a lot of money, Jack.‚ÄĚ
Former General Electric (NYSE: GE) Chairman Jack Welch came to Grasso‚Äôs defense. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs a lot of money, but it was well earned and it was given to him by the board of directors and he took it,‚ÄĚ Welch said. ‚ÄúI haven‚Äôt seen any CEOs in my lifetime who said, ‚Äėplease, please keep it.‚Äô‚ÄĚ
In a later segment, guest host Pat Buchanan piled on Grasso as well. ‚ÄúA 190-million-bucks going away present after 9-11? You don‚Äôt see the problem there? We got a problem in
But Kudlow joined Welch in defending his ‚Äúfriend,‚ÄĚ Grasso.
Early in the segment Kudlow described the work Grasso did after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the NYSE.
‚ÄúDick Grasso is a great American, for a number of reasons,‚ÄĚ Kudlow said to Buchanan. ‚ÄúAt 9-11 ‚Ä¶ 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.