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Fat Cat

What is 'Fat Cat'

A slang word used to describe executives who earn what many believe to be unreasonably high salaries and bonuses. These top executives also receive generous pensions and retirement packages, consisting of extra compensation not available to other company employees.

Explaining 'Fat Cat'

This term conjures up the image of cats that consume more than an appropriate amount of food and become grossly overweight.

Publicly-traded companies are required to disclose the amount of compensation that their top five executives receive. As a result, companies have been under a lot of scrutiny for excessive executive compensation, especially in the face of floundering revenues.

A real-life example of a fat cat would be former Disney CEO, Michael Eisner. For a period of five years in the late 1990s, Eisner received over $737 million in compensation, despite the fact that the company's five-year net income shrank an average of 3.1% each year.


Further Reading


Chief executive compensation: An empirical study of fat cat CEOs
papers.ssrn.com [PDF]
… The International Journal of Business and Finance Research ♦ VOLUME 7 ♦ NUMBER 2 ♦ 2013 … KEYWORDS: Executive Compensation, Fat Cat, Pay-Performance Relationship … he issue of “fat cats” became a hot button issue during the recent financial crisis in 2007 and 2008 …

Organisational form and individual motivation: public ownership, privatisation and fat catsOrganisational form and individual motivation: public ownership, privatisation and fat cats
www.tandfonline.com [PDF]
… The International Journal of Business and Finance Research ♦ VOLUME 7 ♦ NUMBER 2 ♦ 2013 … KEYWORDS: Executive Compensation, Fat Cat, Pay-Performance Relationship … he issue of “fat cats” became a hot button issue during the recent financial crisis in 2007 and 2008 …

Monitoring directors' remuneration, fat cat packages and perks of officeMonitoring directors' remuneration, fat cat packages and perks of office
www.emerald.com [PDF]
… The International Journal of Business and Finance Research ♦ VOLUME 7 ♦ NUMBER 2 ♦ 2013 … KEYWORDS: Executive Compensation, Fat Cat, Pay-Performance Relationship … he issue of “fat cats” became a hot button issue during the recent financial crisis in 2007 and 2008 …

The Performance of Fat Cat Portfolios with Companies Announced by the TWSE and the TPEx: A Stochastic Dominance AnalysisThe Performance of Fat Cat Portfolios with Companies Announced by the TWSE and the TPEx: A Stochastic Dominance Analysis
www.airitilibrary.com [PDF]
… The International Journal of Business and Finance Research ♦ VOLUME 7 ♦ NUMBER 2 ♦ 2013 … KEYWORDS: Executive Compensation, Fat Cat, Pay-Performance Relationship … he issue of “fat cats” became a hot button issue during the recent financial crisis in 2007 and 2008 …

Does the board of directors as Fat Cats exert more earnings management? Evidence from Benford's lawDoes the board of directors as Fat Cats exert more earnings management? Evidence from Benford's law
www.sciencedirect.com [PDF]
… The International Journal of Business and Finance Research ♦ VOLUME 7 ♦ NUMBER 2 ♦ 2013 … KEYWORDS: Executive Compensation, Fat Cat, Pay-Performance Relationship … he issue of “fat cats” became a hot button issue during the recent financial crisis in 2007 and 2008 …

Determinants of Directors' Pay in Switzerland:'Optimal-Contract'versus' Fat Cat'ExplanationDeterminants of Directors' Pay in Switzerland:'Optimal-Contract'versus' Fat Cat'Explanation
papers.ssrn.com [PDF]
… The International Journal of Business and Finance Research ♦ VOLUME 7 ♦ NUMBER 2 ♦ 2013 … KEYWORDS: Executive Compensation, Fat Cat, Pay-Performance Relationship … he issue of “fat cats” became a hot button issue during the recent financial crisis in 2007 and 2008 …

Implications of Western “Fat Cat” Phenomenon for Corporate Governance in Chinese Companies <span style=[J]' src='/thumbnails/?img=http%3A%2F%2Fen.cnki.com.cn%2FArticle_en%2FCJFDTotal-GJTS200706020.htm' />Implications of Western “Fat Cat” Phenomenon for Corporate Governance in Chinese Companies [J]
en.cnki.com.cn [[J]' href='https:/api.miniature.io/pdf?url=en.cnki.com.cn%2FArticle_en%2FCJFDTotal-GJTS200706020.htm'>PDF]
… The International Journal of Business and Finance Research ♦ VOLUME 7 ♦ NUMBER 2 ♦ 2013 … KEYWORDS: Executive Compensation, Fat Cat, Pay-Performance Relationship … he issue of “fat cats” became a hot button issue during the recent financial crisis in 2007 and 2008 …

Executive compensation, fat cats, and best athletesExecutive compensation, fat cats, and best athletes
journals.sagepub.com [PDF]
… The International Journal of Business and Finance Research ♦ VOLUME 7 ♦ NUMBER 2 ♦ 2013 … KEYWORDS: Executive Compensation, Fat Cat, Pay-Performance Relationship … he issue of “fat cats” became a hot button issue during the recent financial crisis in 2007 and 2008 …

Of Fat Cats and Fat Tails: From the Financial Crisis to the 'New'Probabilistic MarxismOf Fat Cats and Fat Tails: From the Financial Crisis to the 'New'Probabilistic Marxism
www.emerald.com [PDF]
… The International Journal of Business and Finance Research ♦ VOLUME 7 ♦ NUMBER 2 ♦ 2013 … KEYWORDS: Executive Compensation, Fat Cat, Pay-Performance Relationship … he issue of “fat cats” became a hot button issue during the recent financial crisis in 2007 and 2008 …



Q&A About Fat Cat


What are some publicly-traded companies required to disclose?

They are required to disclose how much compensation their top five executives receive.

What is a slang word used to describe executives who earn what many believe to be unreasonably high salaries and bonuses?

Fat Cat.

What does the term fat cat conjure up?

The image of cats that consume more than an appropriate amount of food and become grossly overweight.

Who was a real-life example of a fat cat?

Michael Eisner, former CEO of Disney, would be an example of a fat cat.

How did Eisner's compensation shrink over time?

His compensation shrunk by 3.1 each year for five years in the late 1990s.