Windfall Profits, Windfall CEO Pay

Inflation is being blamed on politics and supply chain shortages, but many companies are using this oportunity to raise prices and CEO compensation. From Accountable.US:

The 2021 Consumer Price Index (CPI) showed that overall, prices on common goods and services increased by 7% from December 2020 to December 2021. Unfortunately, more recent CPI data suggests this pattern will continue. Since 2020, the price for apparel has increased by 5.8%, while online prices for apparel have increased as much as 15%. As Of mid-February 2022, Americans saw inflation as “the most urgent issue currently facing the U.S.” with rising prices “fall[ing] hardest on low-income Americans.” Although wages have grown during the pandemic, these increases have been largely “canceled” out by rising prices, including workers in the retail industry, who have felt “neglected and undervalued.”

Meanwhile, the biggest corporations have seen near-record operating margins in 2021 because they were able to raise prices. In 2021, apparel sales grew 18.4%––”the fastest rate” since 2019––and are expected to continue to grow by 8.3% in 2022, with sales during the holiday season “setting a new record despite challenges from inflation, supply chain disruptions and the ongoing pandemic.”

In 2021, the ten largest U.S. apparel companies by market capitalization have benefited from raising prices while making at least $12.9 billion in increased profits during their most recent fiscal years for total of $13.6 billion. And even worse, these same companies have spent $7.6 Billion on shareholder handouts in their most recent fiscal yearswith $3.9 billion more in planned handouts.

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