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The topic dominating the headlines these days is the economic crisis that's driving home prices down, threatening jobs and causing the stock market to fluctuate wildly. Factor in the sudden collapse of Washington Mutual and a proposed government bailout that would cost more than $700 billion, it's no wonder Americans are worried.

"It's scary to see people walking out of their jobs carrying boxes, and people who caused this problem being in charge of fixing it and getting paid in the process," Gayle says. "There's something wrong with that."

Mark says the sticking point seems to be whether the men and women who ran these failing financial giants should receive their compensation packages. "Let them take the stapler and maybe a notepad," Ali says. "But that's it."

Oprah says she read that Alan Fishman, CEO of Washington Mutual, is eligible for his $11.6 million severance package and that he'll get to keep his $7.5 million signing bonus. "Get this," she says. "He's been on the job for less than three weeks."

Gayle says she's all for people being paid well...if their job performance meets expectations. "Whether you're an athlete, entertainer, talk show philanthropist, activist, whoever you are—I'm all for anybody getting paid big bucks as long as you're doing a good job," she says. "When your company is in this much trouble, you are not doing a good job, and you should not be compensated that way."
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FROM: Oprah Fridays: Spike Lee, Ali Wentworth, Mark Consuelos, Gayle King
Published on September 26, 2008

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