Are you happy now? The big bosses lost their a**!

Those of you who get a chill up your spine when CEO compensation gets scalded, should light up at the news that 175 of top American CEO’s lost over $50 billion as a result of the recent stock market decline. Advocates like me who promote pay for performance are also happy to see that the law of natural consequences rears its head occasionally.

Steven Hall and Partners, a compensation consulting firm, looked at the reported holdings of stock and stock options by chief executives of the Fortune 200 companies — to glean these results. It’s a bit more complicated than my headline suggests, so be sure to read it to catch some of the nuances of this study.

If you don’t know already, Carl Icahn, erstwhile corporate raider and self-styled advocate for corporate governance reform, has a blog that covers executive compensation and corporate governance. You can also join his United Shareholders of America campaign for improved corporate governance.

You’ll also note that the top 7 Goldman Sachs executives have voluntarily foregone their bonuses for 2008. Maybe the message is getting through?

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