Last Updated Nov 28, 2008 10:11 AM EST
Consider that Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group paid all of $8.1 million for 14 top executives last year. The bank which is Japan's largest by market capitalization, bought a 21 percent stake in Morgan Stanley in September.
Perhaps it's no big surprise, but John Mack, CEO of Morgan, took home $41.4 million in 2006. True, his pay was cut to $1.6 million last year, but the payouts make the point.
CEO compensation critics, including President-elect Barack Obama, have regularly pointed to the disparity between Japanese C-Suite pay and that of American corporate officials.
Part of it is cultural. Japanese view out-sized pay packages as socially offensive and merit seniority more than performance.
But Lord help us if the financial crisis shifts make them more like us.