Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » After obtaining $6 million state tax cut, CEO says he’s “embarrassed” to live in Illinois
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After obtaining $6 million state tax cut, CEO says he’s “embarrassed” to live in Illinois

Wednesday, Jan 11, 2012 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Some people just don’t know when to shut up

CBOE Holdings Inc. CEO Bill Brodsky derided the State of Illinois for financial problems, such as underfunding of state pensions, just weeks after the state passed a new law that will reduce the taxes that his Chicago-based options exchange pays.

“I’m embarrassed to live here,” Mr. Brodsky said in answer to a reporter’s question at an annual CBOE media lunch Tuesday. His remark was in reference to a bond-rating downgrade by Moody’s Investors Service Inc. last week to A2, that agency’s lowest for any state. “We need people to come together and recognize the gravity of the situation and work together to a solution.”

His comments follow the passage last month by the Illinois legislature of a bill that revamps the state’s tax rates for CBOE and futures exchange CME Group Inc. by sharply reducing the number of trades taxed as Illinois sales because many trades are transacted over electronic systems by parties outside the state. […]

Mr. Brodsky noted that he’s a member of the Commercial Club of Chicago executive group that has been pushing for reform of the state’s pensions. The state has fallen short on addressing its financial troubles while the City of Chicago and Cook County have made progress, he said.

“The city is taking serious steps to deal with its financial problems,” Mr. Brodsky said. “I think the county is taking serious steps to deal with its financial problems. The state has yet to take serious steps to deal with its financial problems.”

If he was so concerned about Illinois’ budget problems, then perhaps he shouldn’t have threatened to move his company out of state unless he received a big tax cut.

Brodsky is a member of the Civic Committee, along with several other corporate chieftains who have received Illinois handouts. The Civic Committee is behind the Illinois is Broke campaign, which has put up billboards and run radio ads announcing that the state is, well, broke.


[For some reason, the comment link wasn’t working. I think I fixed it.]


  1. - The Captain - Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 9:26 am:

    When the market went south at supersonic speeds where did the vultures go who wanted to short the market? Oh right, the CBOE.

    We’re embarrassed to have you too buddy.

  2. - thechampaignlife - Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 9:39 am:

    In fairness, his duty is to his company so leaving Illinois and its budget problems is as reasonable an option as staying and trying to get a more fair deal. Of course, tact is advised if he has any chance of needing something out of the state anytime soon.

  3. - Elo Kiddies - Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 9:39 am:

    “The Civic Committee is behind the 1 comment”

    I think that should read, “the Civic Committee is behind the 1 percent.”

  4. - Dirt Digger - Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 9:45 am:

    He’s right though. It is pretty embarrassing we shelled out to cut his taxes like that.

  5. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 9:45 am:

    EK, I inadvertently had a space before a link, which caused a chain reaction that cut off the story and disabled the comment link. That’s why it ended so oddly. I think I fixed it now, however.

  6. - Lakeview - Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 9:45 am:

    Obviously, he forgot the first rule of honesty in politics: when you’re bought, you stay bought.

    What a jerk.

  7. - Thoughts... - Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 9:48 am:

    Hmmm, wonder if there’s any buyer’s remorse for thems that voted for the tax cut…

    I’m far from an occupier, but it’s comments like these that make me think they may have a point…someone needs to publish this dude’s address - ha!

  8. - MrJM - Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 9:51 am:

    In other news: In early trading,pitchfork and torches futures are up.

    – MrJM

  9. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 9:54 am:

    Given his successful shakedown and subsequent diss of the state, Brodsky strikes me as someone who is incapable of being embarrassed.

    Don’t feel too bad for him, though. I was at the Hawks game last night and they looked like they were having a pretty good time in the CBOE luxury suite.

    Since we’re paying for it, when do we all get our invites, anyway?

  10. - N'ville - Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 9:55 am:

    The Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago…membership is a group of guys whose annual bonuses could probably go a long way toward erasing this state’s debt, yet they demonize teachers who DARE accept $40,000 annual pensions after contributing toward it for 25 years.

  11. - Fed up - Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 9:55 am:

    When do we get the headline

    Quinn promises to veto tax hike over 4% then signs 5% tax.

    Quinn I support death penalty then signs bill eliminating death penalty

    Quinn I will remove African American U of I trustees if they don’t resign , oh Bobby Rush said I can’t well then never mind

  12. - JBilla - Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 10:00 am:


  13. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 10:01 am:

    Fed Up, you’ve been coming here a very long time. So, you should know that all those stories were covered more than once.

  14. - Fed up - Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 10:06 am:

    As for mr. Brodsky claim that the city is tackling its financial problems thier is a story today that the city is building a handicap ramp for the city council chambers at a cost of 485k. The Avg home in Chicago costs less than 200k my guess is Walsh const or another big donor is building a real nice ramp that if properly bid should cost a fraction of what the taxpayers are being bled for. I wonder if Mr Brodsky wonders why a handicap ramp costs more than two city homes?

  15. - Stones - Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 10:09 am:

    LOL - this isn’t the same Bill Brodsky that used to get “spoofed” on Saturday Night Live?

  16. - KLK - Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 10:10 am:

    CME and CBOE have created a case study of how NOT to approach a public affairs problem. Duffy was combative in committee, a hearing was held and no lobbyist from CME showed up, and then they eliminate charitable giving several weeks after the bill is passed.

    I hope they got EVERYTHING they needed in that bill, because if they have to come back down to Springfield it won’t be pretty.

  17. - Bill - Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 10:15 am:

    The only thing I’m embarrassed about is the way we let these rich sleazebags have influence on public policy. They have been trying to buy laws that they profit from for a century. The robber barons of the late 19th century are choirboys compared to them. If you are so embarrassed by Illinois,Brodsky, move to Indiana and steal from hard working Hoosiers instead of us for a change.

  18. - mark walker - Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 10:19 am:

    The Civic Committee hasn’t been helping the situation, so far. They usually have a narrow and shallow take on the state challenges, which simply reflects that their members have other things that take almost all their time and attention.

  19. - MeAgain - Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 10:28 am:

    “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth” … cause there’s a lot of mules in Springfield that will kick your A_ _!

  20. - zatoichi - Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 10:29 am:

    I am sure Brodsky is living in a nice neighborhood with very good schools and great restaurants, a hefty tax rate on his executive home, is financially set for live, and vacations wherever he feels like going. Maybe it is time for him to leave his current job and run for political office so that he could help fix whatever is causing him to be embarrassed.

  21. - Irish - Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 10:29 am:

    And people wonder why we don’t allow the big businesses and big banks to have free reign to improve the economy. The is the poster child story for why we are where we are in the state and in the nation fiscally. If you let the greedy 1% have their way they will grab all the money for themselves and let the rest of the country slide into ruin.

    Too bad the MSM won’t call attention to this story like Rich did. Of course when the CEO’s of the big news outlets are of the same ilk I guess you can’t expect them to rat out their buddies.

    This should reinforce support for the Occupy movement and get people thinking about candidates that like to fire people or think African American kids should be janitors in the schools so they learn how to work. It is a mind set that most of us can’t understand. But it is real and those off the cuff comments are telling and should not be ignored.

  22. - Irish - Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 10:31 am:

    MJM - LOL- I am hoping sales of feathers and tar rise also.

  23. - Spring - Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 10:33 am:

    MF Global was a little embarassing too

  24. - Move or Split off - Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 10:34 am:

    Mr. Brodsky should get squarely behind the Bill Mitchell - Adam Brown resolution to split Chicago from downstate. This would surely end his embarassment of living in Illinois.
    Or he could move to Iowa.

  25. - Wensicia - Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 10:36 am:

    Rather than feel embarrassment, Brodsky should feel shame over contributing to the state’s increased debt by cutting his company a tax break.

  26. - soccermom - Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 10:37 am:

    With apologies to VanillaMan

    To the tune of “Dear Officer Kruppke” from West Side Story”

    Dear CEO Brodsky,
    Our state is a mess.
    The pension fund’s empty.
    The budget’s a guess.
    The wealthy get credits,
    The poor pay the tax.
    Why can’t the budget take some whacks?
    (”Hey, that’s a good idea. Somebody go talk to Dave Vaught”)

    Dear CEO Brodsky,
    Your math skills are nil:
    We can’t hand out credits
    And still pay our bills.
    We bribed you with millions
    To keep you in-state:
    Now you’re the guy we love to hate.
    (”Gosh, I didn’t think of that. We can’t get caught up on our bills if we keep handing hundreds of millions in tax credits to whiny rich guys. This is a problem for Governor Quinn!”)

    Dear CEO Brodsky,
    It’s time to relax.
    Go take a vacation
    While schmoes pay your tax.
    Your salary’s hefty,
    Your bonus assured;
    Shut up, you stupid freaking nerd.
    (”The Governor’s right! This guy has working people paying extra so his wealthy colleagues can pile up even more bags of money in the dungeons of their palatial homes. He should shut his cakehole before somebody Occupies CBOE.”

  27. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 10:43 am:

    ===MF Global was a little embarassing too ===

    Wrong company. This is CBOE, not CME.

  28. - Gregor - Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 10:47 am:

    Brodsky is apparently taking public relations training from Paul Christofaro now.

  29. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 10:47 am:

    –In fairness, his duty is to his company so leaving Illinois and its budget problems is as reasonable an option as staying and trying to get a more fair deal.–

    Not all people in business subscribe to that state-of-nature philosophy. There are good, community-minded corporate citizens who take a longer view then the next quarter’s posting.

    And believe me, there are a lot of folks who trade at CME and CBOE who were embarrassed those companies chose to shake down the fiscally strapped state at a time when they were posting record profits. It insults their capitalist/entrepreneur world view.

  30. - Spring - Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 10:54 am:

    Sorry, thanks for the correction.

  31. - TCB - Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 11:05 am:

    @ Soccermom

    great post!

  32. - obamas puppy - Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 11:34 am:

    Mr. Civic Comm how many years did you live with the lowest tax rate in the country while we shortchanged the pension systems? oh and how many plates of gold are on your parachute, while you complain about teachers who do not even have SS. Would you be willing to give up the SS to help make it more solvent since you obviously all not be needing it. Hipocracy is best served with humility Mr. Civic Comm.

  33. - Esquire - Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 11:36 am:

    I am embarrassed that Brodsky lives in Illinois.

    What a hypocrite!

  34. - Boone Logan Square - Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 11:38 am:

    Is this is how they say “let them eat cake” in the 21st century?

  35. - mark walker - Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 11:47 am:

    Soccermom: wonderful

  36. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 11:50 am:

    Best Cap Fax song ever, Soccermom.

  37. - Wensicia - Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 11:53 am:

    soccermom, great lyrics! I love that movie.

  38. - Colossus - Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 11:55 am:

    @Soccermom - thanks for the laugh. I never expected a working knowledge of musical theater would ever come in handy at Capitol Fax. It’s a weird, wild world we live in.

  39. - D.P. Gumby - Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 12:36 pm:

    Soccermom just added more to the public policy discourse than Brodsky and the Civic Comm have. I again return to the transaction tax idea propounded by the Green Party in the last election. An infintessimally tiny tax on trades as exists in Europe would solve the Illinois budge crises.

  40. - mokenavince - Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 2:26 pm:

    We may not like Mr. Brodsky’s statement,but he sounds about the way I’m feeling.The City and County are cleaning up their acts,now it’s time for State government to do it’s part.The nonsense
    down there has got to stop.

  41. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 2:42 pm:

    I have been watching the Republican presidential debates, and Mitt Romney reminded me of a Civic Committee type when he made statements like federal employees are overcompensated. I won’t debate whether they are overcompensated (compared to private sector workers, which might not entirely be true, salary wise), but Romney the multimillionaire attacking public workers’ incomes was too much. After all, this is capitalism, and public workers trying to get the best possible salaries and benefits is no different than Mr. Romney and capital investment firms doing the same things.

  42. - P. - Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 3:17 pm:

    While the economy struggles, the greedy seize the opportunity to step on the throats of everyone else. In the money grab game, certain types always come out on top. It’s sick, I’m not really sure what to do about it, but our problems are not going away … The corporations/robber barons know that if the State/City/Whatever doesn’t give in then the financial problems just spiral out of control. Pity the Billionaire, isn’t that the Thomas Frank?

  43. - jimbo2600 - Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 6:49 pm:

    Compensation for 2010
    Salary $1,482,692.00
    Bonus $1,000,000.00
    Restricted stock awards $6,761,002.00
    All other compensation $338,604.00
    Total Compensation $9,582,298.00
    Source: William J Brodsky

  44. - Not Stupid - Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 10:07 pm:

    I agree with CBOE Holdings Inc. CEO Bill Brodsky. I’m embarrassed he lives here too!

  45. - socialdistortion - Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 10:08 pm:

    Someone needs to be pied as a therapeutic intervention.

  46. - mushroom in the dark - Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 10:24 pm:

    CBOE was responsible to oversee MF Global

  47. - Anon - Thursday, Jan 12, 12 @ 2:41 am:

    I suppose he doesn’t realize we (his fellow citizens) are rather embarrased that he lives in Illinois also.

  48. - anon - Thursday, Jan 12, 12 @ 4:40 am:

    Brodsky’s comments just add to the recent spate of headlines about the greedy, sociopathic 1 percent

    Exhibit A: “Wall Street Employees Threaten To Quit If Bonuses Aren’t Up To Snuff”

    Exhibit B: “John Castle, Leveraged Buyout King, Breaks Waiter’s Finger For Bad Service”

    Exhibit C: It’s not polite to talk about income inequality in public: “I think it’s about envy. I think it’s about class warfare,” Romney said. “I think when you have a president encouraging the idea of dividing America based on 99 percent versus one percent… you’ve opened up a whole new wave of approach in this country which is entirely inconsistent with the concept of ‘one nation under God.”

  49. - anon - Thursday, Jan 12, 12 @ 5:00 am:

    Let us not forget that the same bill giving the CBOE and CME also threw in this sweetener: DOUBLED the state estate tax from $2 million to $4 million.
    Tax cuts for the uber-rich are ike Jell-o, always room for more, no matter how broke the state is.

  50. - anon - Thursday, Jan 12, 12 @ 5:01 am:

    oops, “like” Jell-o

  51. - Smithson - Thursday, Jan 12, 12 @ 4:00 pm:

    Brodsky, you are a silly putz.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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