By Nina Mandell
MANHATTAN — John Mack, the chairman and recently retired CEO of investment bank Morgan Stanley, said bankers are overpaid.
“I still don’t think the industry gets it,” Mack said at a talk at Queens University in North Carolina.
"If you lost your job and lost your house, it’s pretty easy to be angry at bankers,” he said, according to reports.
The comments came days after New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli found Wall Street bonuses jumped 17 percent last year, putting bankers back on track to earn pre-crash levels.
Mack warned that Wall Street pay won't go down any time soon because companies don’t want to lose their highest performing employees, Bloomberg reported.
Plus, companies still don't understand the national anger against Wall Street, and mistakenly believe they can make amends by rearranging payment schedules for bankers' massive bonuses and paychecks instead of questioning the need for it, Mack said.
He cited the example of a 28-year-old trader who refused Morgan Stanley's $11 million paycheck and instead moved to a hedge fund that offered him $25 million.
“If we don’t do something, the government will do something,” he said, according to Bloomberg.
Mack retired as the CEO of Morgan Stanley in December.
He reportedly hasn't been paid a bonus in three years and was paid an $800,000 salary last year.
His replacement got $8.6 million in deferred stock grants alone, Bloomberg reported.