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Pocket Rockets: The 10 Highest-Paid CEOs of 2008

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Message Harkavy
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The high-class watchdog Corporate Library has released its "sneak peek" of the highest-paid CEOS of 2008.

Jesus, what a disastrous year that was, what with the meltdown and all. But check out (and download for free) "The Top 10 Highest Paid CEOs of 2008: Pay hits the gas pedal as the economy hits the brakes." Blackstone's Stephen A. Schwarzman, one of Wall Street's highest-flying vultures, raked in "total realized compensation" of $702.4 million, fairly closely followed by Oracle's Larry Ellison, who garnered $557 million, followed by seven guys from the oil business. And, finally, followed by Abercrombie & Fitch's Mike Jeffries, in 10th place with 2008 gravy totaling $71.8 million.

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Special mention to A&F's Jeffries. The teen-apparel outfit's share price was in the high 70s in January 2008 and ended the year in the low 20s. Didn't seem to hurt him any.

And something not in the Corporate Library report: In early June 2008, before A&F's share price started its rapid descent, Jeffries raked in millions of dollars in just a few days by selling a sh*t pile of stock, not all the sales of the "automatic" variety. (See for yourself.)

Jeffries's timing was impeccable, although maybe it hasn't been so good this year. Only today, Abercrombie & Fitch reported that it swung to a second-quarter loss that seems to be directly tied to some poor management decisions.

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Ward Harkavy is currently Senior Editor at the Village Voice, for which he writes The Smart Asset.
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