Truth to Power

Quit knee jerking, Obama

White House seeks oversight of executive pay

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration will call for increased oversight of executive pay at all banks, Wall Street firms and possibly other companies as part of a sweeping plan to overhaul financial regulation, government officials said.

One proposal could impose greater requirements on the boards of companies to tie executive compensation more closely to corporate performance and to take other steps to assure that outsize bonuses are not paid before meeting financial goals.

The new rules will cover all financial institutions, including those not now covered by any pay rules because they are not receiving federal bailout money. Officials say the rules could also be applied more broadly to publicly traded companies, which already report about some executive pay practices to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Last month, as part of the stimulus package, Congress barred top executives at large banks getting rescue money from receiving bonuses exceeding one-third of their annual pay. </em>

Let’s get one minor objection to this moronic plan out on the table first- it’s illegal. There is nothing in our Constitution that gives our President the right to set salaries at private companies. None. Nada. Zip. Now, once they have accepted bailout money, sure. Because now you own the company, and you can set any sort of policies you wish, and if a company doesn’t like it, they can return the cash.

But above the basic illegality of it all, this is just a stupid, pander to the masses bit of crap. The problem with our economy isn’t that a company paid some CEO zillions of dollars to do his job- the problem is that the job he did, selling the same mortgage 30 times, betting that it will fail- was unsustainable, creating fictitious “wealth” divorced from capital and earnings. That is what Obama must fix, and so far he has shown no interest in doing so, stating that he believes the foundations of our economy are basically ok and by hiring the same robber barons who screwed the system to reap further rewards for fucking it even harder on our dime. Sadly, Obama responding to public outcry about executive pay is his administrations Schiavo moment- much ado about nothing. Leave the populist pandering to Fox News, and fix the broken system instead of just doing more of the same.

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