Miami's Daily Business Review reports today that Micky Arison paid himself a "special year-end dividend" of $90,000,000. Yes, that's 90 million dollars.
Cruise CEO Arison is not the only executive in Florida lining his pockets, as the Review states that other executives in Florida are paying themselves dividends in the range of $250,000 to around $20,000,000. The newspaper states that the whopper of a dividend was probably paid due to expectations that federal tax rates will jump next year. I suppose that's called the "Romney-didn't-win-dividend."
Arison is already by far the richest person in Florida with a net worth of many billions of dollars. The last time I checked it was over $4,000,000,000, or maybe it was $7,000,000,000. I forget. What's an extra billion or two?
I was thinking of entitling this blog "Micky Arison is a fat greedy pig" but at least one journalist already called him that over a decade ago. So I'll keep what I'm thinking to myself.
But, I have to add that it must be something to be the CEO of a foreign corporation that pays no U.S. federal taxes and owns a $600,000,000 cruise ship which sank (the Concordia operated by subsidiary Costa) and killed 32 people and at the end of the year you pay yourself an additional $90,000,000. Yes, the disaster caused some lost revenue for Carnival for a few months. But by the end of the year, Carnival profits are higher than ever. 32 dead customers and crew are not a problem if you keep them from filing suit in the U.S.
While Arison pays himself a dividend of $90,000,000, he offered the families of the dead and traumatized Concordia passengers $15,000 each.
When I think of Arison paying himself an extra $90,000.000, I also think of the 150 waiters from India who worked for P&O Cruises (another Carnival subsidiary) who were fired earlier this year at the instructions of Carnival's executives after they went on strike for about an hour in Seattle over low pay and the non-payment of tips. There are now 150 families struggling in India because Carnival made an example of them to show what happens if crew members in Carnival's fleet of 100 cruise ships complain about low pay.
Earlier this week, Arison's cruise line ignited controversy by issuing a last minute edict that passengers who bought tickets on Carnival's drag queen cruise would not be permitted to dress in drag in order to avoid offending "family values." When a boycott was threatened that might result in Carnival losing millions from the offended LGBT community, Carnival reconsidered and lifted the ban on dressing drag.
Always following the money, Arison obviously thought that paying himself a $90,000,000 dividend was not a drag either.
I wonder what Arison will do with the extra $90,000,000? Raise wages for his loyal employees on his cruise ships? Invest in a health clinic in India for Carnival crew? Donate the money to a charity for sick seafarers? Ha. That's something Bill Gates or Warren Buffett would do.
Read some of our other articles about CEO Arison and judge for yourself.
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