From his book "Straight from the Gut" this is Jack Welch. Extract from Chapter 15 titled "Too full of myself".
Where God parachutes us is a matter of luck. Nowhere is that more true than Wall Street. There are more mediocre people making more money on Wall Street than any other place on earth. Sure, there are some stars, and some earn every nickel they make. They crowd they carry along with them is something else. Wall Street might be the only place in the world where a $100,000 raise is considered
When you handed someone a check for $10 million, they'd look you in the eye and say, "Ten? The guy down the street just got 12!" "Thank you" was a rare expression at Kidder.
The outrageous pay in a good year was bad enough. It really drove me nuts in a bad year. That's when the argument would go something like this: "Yeah, we had a tough year, but you've got to give them at least as much as they made last year or they'll go across the street."
This place had the perfect we-win, you-lose game.
Wall Street had to have been better when the companies were private and the partners were playing with their own money rather than "other people's money." The concept of idea sharing and team play was completely foreign. If you were in investment banking or trading and your group had a good year, it didn't matter what happened to the firm overall. They wanted theirs.
It's a place where the lifeboats carrying millionaires were always going to make it to shore while the Titanic sank.