Bonne lecture !
As the economy continues to struggle in the seventh year of its supposed recovery after the Great Recession–despite unprecedented amounts of free government money from the Fed–CEO compensation continues to soar.
“The party goes on,” writes David Gelles in the New York Times, with a horrifying list of examples of corporate greed and value extraction. At the top of the list is a coven of four CEOs associated with John Malone at Discovery Communications who received some $350 million in 2014. Not bad for a year’s work, at a time when median compensation for workers has not increased significantly in decades.
Bloomberg calls it “gluttony.”
Harvard Business Review calls it “the biggest financial bubble of them all.”
The New Yorker says, that the effect of reforms such as say-on-pay, aimed at containing excesses in C.E.O. salaries, has been “approximately zero. Executive compensation…is now higher than it’s ever been.”
Shareholder votes “have done little to curb lavish executive pay,” writes David Gelles. Greater public disclosure based on the view that somehow the companies would be ashamed and change their ways ”hasn’t worked.” He quotes Regina Olshan, head of the executive compensation practice at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom: “I don’t think those folks are particularly ashamed. If they are getting paid, they feel they deserve those amounts. And if they are on the board, they feel like they are paying competitively to attract talent.”
“At root, the unstoppable rise of CEO pay,” says James Surowiecki in the New Yorker, “involves an ideological shift. Just about everyone involved now assumes that talent is rarer than ever, and that only outsize rewards can lure suitable candidates and insure stellar performance…CEO pay is likely to keep going in only one direction: up.”