Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Where Your Money Really Goes

Boston Globe columnist Brian McGrory began a series of columns about the insurance industry recently, beginning with Soaring greed at Liberty Mutual. The column described the mutual (owned by policy holders like you and me) company's air force, based out of Hanscom Field in Bedford. Mass. He used the Wall Street Journal's Jet Tracker to show the important places these corporate jets are taking their executives.


Former chief executive Ted Kelly, when not whining about the "excess" salaries and "very rich" benefits that public employees like myself get, has no problem taking the public's money and flying to his vacation house on Cape Cod - a very short drive from the Boston area. One of the most popular flight destinations is Vero Beach, Florida, near another one of his properties. All of those trips took place in the cold weather months. There were also several trips to commercially important places like Bermuda and Hawaii. Apparently his $50 million annual salary was inadequate to pay his own way.

The Wall Street Journal made Freedom of Information Act requests to the FAA to compile this flight information and display it on an interactive map. You can find a company that you are a shareholder of or that you pay bills to and see where your money goes. The table view lists the dates and times of flights and the map view is what you see above.

My previous mortgage holder, Citigroup also appears to have a bit of a taste for spending your money on vacations with 14 trips to Nantucket, 4 to the Bahamas, 21 to Saranac Lake in the Adirondacks, and one to Marco Island, Florida. My current mortgage holder, Wells Fargo is harder to track because there are so many different entries for them.



Have fun seeing where your money goes while I enjoy my fabulous salary and benefits.

2 comments:

Clark H Smith said...

Former chief executive Ted Kelly, when not whining about the "excess" salaries and "very rich" benefits that public employees like myself get, has no problem taking the public's money...

Wow, I love your map blog, but your fuzzy rant about what constitutes "public". I'd love to argue with you about this, but I don't think it would accomplish much. Suffice to say, "taking the public's money" is a term which you have boldly misconstrued. I am not a public, I am a private - citizen. It's not public money, it's private money. That's the fundamental error that PUBLIC sector entities make. Amirite, GSA??

Dug said...

This is not a private company, it's a mutual insurance company - as far as I know they're required to distribute their profits to their shareholders (anyone who buys their insurance) in the form of dividends or lower rates.
You may call it "private" money if you want but the fact is that it's my money that's going to send executives on planes to resorts and I basically have no say in the matter.