I almost vomited all over the paper when I read what “enlightenment” Leo Hindery had to share through the Financial Times Editorial page. The editorial in question, “Obama must act to curb executive greed.” What a sexy title. Pander to the lowest denominator, great, just the dialog we need.
He goes on to say that Obama must “… enact permanent limits …” on “all public companies,” and proposes a system whereby executive pay is maxed out at some multiple to the average employee compensation. He also proposes that ” … the Treasury oversee the compensation practices of any entity that is regulated, whether or not it currently relies on government guarantees. This should apply to employees at the individual trader level, too.” Leo proposes a 35x ratio.
I wonder if this is the same Leo Hindery who paid $2 million last year for “consulting” and a luxury car and driver for Daschle that was exposed in the Daschle tax scandal. Hmm. As a representative of the American public, Daschle would be capped at . . . $32,000 * 35 = $1,1,20,000….
Perhaps most offensive is Leo’s statement in quotes,
that it is the government’s responsibility to “ensure wealth’s fair and equitable distribution.”
I’m no constitutional scholar, but I have read the document a few times and I do not remember that line, “ensure wealth’s fair and equitable distribution.” From whom or what did Mr. Hindery quote that abomination? Or was he using quotation marks to be cute?
Spirit versus the Letter of the Law?
Never mind that any official sanctions will be skirted – see Leo’s skirting of congressional protocol with regard to Mr. Daschle. Executives should be capped so the average employee doesn’t get his feelings hurt? I’m not sure what the argument is here. See article on ACTUAL income level changes as reported by the US Census before you give me that bogus rich getting richer, poor getting poorer argument. If I create a ton of value in the marketplace, I want a ton of reward. I don’t ask you to give it to me; I will make it myself. I will make it by conquering risks, pushing myself further and harder than my peers and by the sheer force of will.
If you want to redistribute the wealth,
STOP bailing these buggers out. For the love of all that is holy, let the bankers and lawyers who supported them slide into the ooze they’ve created. Why should you, American Taxpayer, be forced to support GM through your tax dollars? I’m not interested in having GM in my portfolio – they’ve taken lazy-man risks and have considerable deadweight. I’d rather support the companies who will rise up in the wake of GM. Talent does not disappear.
“…Freedom has been given a chance and has failed. Therefore, more stringent controls are necessary. Since men are unable and unwilling to solve their problems voluntarily, they must be forced to do it.” – Wesley Mouch, Atlas Shrugged.
No one, no thing is too big to fail. That is the natural cycle, let it be.
I don’t advocate “excessive” pay packages whatever those are. I don’t care what you pay your executives. I invest in private enterprises and I keep tabs on the folks running the companies. It’s a novel idea, being involved, paying attention…. For those of us with tiny bank accounts, we may be investing in Raul’s Corner Drycleaner instead of Raytheon, but the result is the same with smart investors and smart directors. Raul put his life on hold for 8 years to get the Drycleaner zipping. As long as we continue to grow the business and I get the return I want, Raul is welcome to pay himself whatever the blazes he wants. When Raul steps out, then the Board negotiates pay.
The biggest challenge in business is finding more Owner Class Rauls, not how much Raul is paid.
So perhaps here is the problem:
The public Boards are stuffed with old farts. I know some of these guys. Some have had remarkable careers. Most were never more than middle managers but had the opportunity to ride an amazing economic boom so they think they know what they’re doing. They are stuffy fluff. They get to sit as comfy Board members by virtue of their age and “wisdom.” They got lucky. Don’t begrudge their luck, their gender or their race. Replace them with talent – Owner Class talent. For companies where a real owner is still involved, the stuffy fluff doesn’t last. Stuffy fluff kills innovation. A real owner lives for the organization and what it can create. Money is a cool perk. Keep the owner class involved.
Want to learn more about Leo Hindery, check out the Forbes article.