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Jeb Bush Joins the Tenet Gravy Train

Sure, the Tenet job may look pretty tacky for someone of your standing, but the pay isn't bad.

It's lucky the media aren't paying too much attention. Anyone reading the public filings would have discovered that in your first year, you'll earn $474,500 -- for 13 days' work.

That's $36,500 a day. And the "work" consists of sitting in a board room, so it's not exactly heavy lifting.

If the board meetings last an average of four hours, you'll be pulling in $9,125 an hour.

Not bad for a guy who could manage only a B.A. in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas. Many of Tenet's 65,000 personnel are qualified medical staff with years of experience. Yet according to public filings, their average salary and benefits last year came to around $69,000 for full-time work.

You get that in two days.

Who says all the good jobs are going to China?

I'm sure your family lawyer has already explained the details, Jeb, but just to recap the terms: As a nonemployee director you'll get an immediate golden handshake of $260,000 in "restricted stock units." Nothing says "welcome aboard" quite like a quarter-million. Plus you'll get another $130,000 in restricted stock units each year. That's on top of your retainer of $65,000 a year.

And all that is before you turn up for a single board meeting. For each one you attend, you get another $1,500. There's another $1,200 every time you show up at a committee meeting.

A word of advice: Avoid the audit and compliance committees. There's too much work and there's always the risk something will go wrong. For an easy life, join the compensation committee. It meets only seven times a year and you don't have to do anything. Just hire some consultants to review executive pay, and agree to whatever they suggest. The executives will be grateful, and that can pay real dividends down the road. See it as using shareholder money to stock up the favor bank.

What a deal!
In keeping with TSC's editorial policy, Brett Arends doesn't own or short individual stocks. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. Arends takes a critical look inside mutual funds and the personal finance industry in a twice-weekly column that ranges from investment advice for the general reader to the industry's latest scoop. Prior to joining in 2006, he worked for more than two years at the Boston Herald, where he revived the paper's well-known 'On State Street' finance column and was part of a team that won two SABEW awards in 2005. He had previously written for the Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail newspapers in London, the magazine Private Eye, and for Global Agenda, the official magazine of the World Economic Summit in Davos, Switzerland. Arends has also written a book on sports 'futures' betting.
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