Friday, March 13, 2009

WSJ: Cuomo, Frank Seek to Link Executive Pay, Performance

Today's piece in the Wall Street Journal caught my eye:

New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is in discussions with Rep. Barney Frank and other lawmakers on a plan to tie Wall Street pay to the long-term performance of the firms.

Mr. Frank (D., Mass.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, and other prominent Democrats appear to back such a plan, though no legislation has been introduced.

"We plan to put laws into effect, no question," said Mr. Frank. "We have to address this 'heads I win, tails I break even' issue."

This is the problem with the government getting too involved with the private sector. Executive pay is approved by the shareholders, not the government. Were executives making too much? Yes. Were shareholders misled about what they made? Maybe. Do shareholders need better ways to control executive pay? Sure. So let congress work on ways in which it will be easier for SHAREHOLDERS to monitor pay of executives of their companies. I understand that right now, the government is a major shareholder in many banks, but according to their plan, they won't be for long.

I'm not interested in the government controlling pay for the long term. It isn't their job to determine what is "fair." They have the ability to increase taxes, and that should be as far as it goes.

If Barney Frank and his friends are interested in controlling executive pay based on their determination, then I have an idea too. Lets let the American people (or the taxpayers-which isn't all Americans) decide what Congress makes! In a year where people saw their pay cut drastically, and many thousands lost their jobs, one group voted to give itself a raise. You guessed it, it was the U.S. Congress.

WSJ Article.

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