executive pay

SEC Expands Shareholders vote power

The SEC has voted to allow shareholders more power to elect corporate board members.

The SEC’s rule would allow shareholders who own 3 percent of a company’s voting stock to nominate board members. To prevent short-term investors from swooping in to shake up a company, shareholders must own their stock for three years before proposing candidates. Shareholders must own their stock outright and cannot use borrowed shares to count toward the 3 percent threshold.

This is amazing the SEC vote was 3-2, considering who owns 3% of one company stock? There is a nonbinding vote on executive pay:

Also under the new law, shareholders will be able to weigh in on pay packages for top executives. Nonbinding votes on executive pay will be held at least once every three years.

The Wall Street Journal:

The "proxy access" rule, which passed the commission on a 3-2 vote, would require companies to print the names of shareholder board nominees directly on corporate ballots if certain conditions are met.

Recycled Corporate Executives

You know what happens to you when you are incompetent and fail right? You're out of a job. Not so with the executive class.

In this New York Times article, once again we see recycled CEOs.

YOU might think that board members overseeing businesses that cratered in the credit crisis would be disqualified from serving as directors at other public companies.

You would, however, be wrong.

Directors who were supposedly minding the store as disaster struck at companies like Countrywide Financial, Washington Mutual or Fannie Mae have not all been banished from other boardrooms. In many cases, directors just seem to skate away from company woes that occurred on their watch.

Fiddling While Rome Burns

Think when companies go bankrupt their executives aren't still getting millions? Think Again.

A new study from Harvard Professors Bebchuk, Cohen and Spamann, The Wages of Failure tells us that regardless of running a company into the ground, executives make sure they get theirs.

The study focuses on Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers.

We find that the top-five executive teams of these firms cashed out large amounts of performance-based compensation during the 2000-2008 period. During this period, they were able to cash out large amounts of bonus compensation that was not clawed back when the firms collapsed, as well as to pocket large amounts from selling shares.

Reuters Banker's Executive Pay Graph

Reuters has created a new graph comparing banker's executive pay at the top world banks. Here is the link to the the entire article on executive compensation.

The United States is home to four of the nine largest banks in the world -- JPMorgan, Bank of America Corp, Wells Fargo & Co and Citigroup Inc. It is also home to four of the six most handsomely rewarded bank CEOs.

Reuters bankers pay

The Federal Reserve to Limit Executive Pay

Maybe there is something to that Federal Reserve as super regulator proposal the Obama administration is talking about after all.

Imagine my surprise at this Wall Street Journal headline, Bankers Face Sweeping Curbs on Pay:

Policies that set the pay for tens of thousands of bank employees nationwide would require approval from the Federal Reserve as part of a far-reaching proposal to rein in risk-taking at financial institutions.

The Fed's plan would, for the first time, inject government regulators deep into compensation decisions traditionally reserved for the banks' corporate boards and executives.

New AFL-CIO Executive Pay Report

The AFL-CIO has new data on executive pay.

Even as the U.S. economy went into a tailspin, the median salary for CEOs of 200 large corporations increased by 4.5 percent to $1.08 million. On top of that, these corporations keep plying executives with generous freebies, despite the public outcry over private jets and other executive perks.

The 2009 AFL-CIO Executive PayWatch site, which launches today, points out that the perks for executives rose on average by 12.5 percent in 2008 to $336,248—or nine times the median salary of a full-time worker. Even more appalling is the practice of rewarding executives who drive their companies into the ground.

Same ole game, the executive class makes out like bandits all the while squeezing the middle class.

The Incredible Brazen AIG Gives $165 Million dollars in Executive Bonuses

This is just unbelievable and it makes it more unbelievable that AIG has not been broken up, all executives fired.

Insurance giant AIG to pay $165 million in bonuses:

American International Group is giving its executives tens of millions of dollars in new bonuses even though it received a taxpayer bailout of more than $170 billion dollars.

AIG is paying out the executive bonuses to meet a Sunday deadline, but the troubled insurance giant has agreed to administration requests to restrain future payments.

The Treasury Department determined that the government did not have the legal authority to block the current payments by the company. AIG declared earlier this month that it had suffered a loss of $61.7 billion for the fourth quarter of last year, the largest corporate loss in history.

Obama to Limit TARP Executive Pay to $500,000

Update: Cloak and Dagger alert! Executive pay limits can be waived!:

Those same rules, however, would be voluntary for most recipients of government aid. Companies could waive the restrictions by informing shareholders.

Get that? Voluntary, just inform shareholders you are handing over huge wads of cash to people who ran your company into the ground to the point you need taxpayer money...wala, not a problem.

This is a shocker. Obama to Limit Executive Pay at Companies Getting Aid.

About time!

President Barack Obama will announce today that he’s imposing a cap of $500,000 on the compensation of top executives at companies that receive significant federal assistance in the future, responding to a public outcry over Wall Street excess.