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What is Fat Cat Wednesday?

Graham Watson

4th January 2017

The High Pay Centre have come out with the remarkable claim that looking at average FTSE 100 CEO salaries, they will have passed the £28,000 average salary by Wednesday lunchtime.

They've named the day 'Fat Cat Wednesday' and argue, correctly in my view that the impact of such large pay differentials is demotivating, with a Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development survey suggesting that 60% of workers are demotivated by the pay differential.

However, even though I believe in the underlying economics, I have to say I'm not convinced by the methodology.

The article notes that "The hourly pay rate of £1,009 is calculated on the assumption that FTSE bosses work 12 hours a day, including three out of every four weekends, and take fewer than 10 days holiday a year." I'm not sure that it's correct to assume that they work three weekends out of four or that if they did you could suggested that they'd be paid the same hourly rate.

Equally, and more mundanely, Monday was a Bank Holiday - so it would be Thursday lunchtime that they'd be earning this figure...I'm assuming that even fats cats get Bank Holidays!

Revision video on the economics of executive pay caps

You will find more statistics at Statista

Graham Watson

Graham Watson has taught Economics for over twenty years. He contributes to Tutor2U, reads voraciously and is interested in all aspects of Teaching and Learning.

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