Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Because Common Sense Just DOESN'T Work...

Obama, today, had to step in like a stern parent and place a cap of $500,000 in salary to executives of companies receiving bailout money. I guess Obama heard we, the public, didn't really like that these companies gave out twenty BILLION dollars in bonuses.

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama on Wednesday imposed a $500,000 cap on senior executive pay for the most distressed financial institutions receiving taxpayer bailout money and promised new steps to end a system of "executives being rewarded for failure."
Obama announced the unusual government intervention into corporate America at the White House, with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner at his side. The president said the executive-pay limits are a first step, to be followed by the unveiling next week of a sweeping new framework for spending what remains of the $700 billion financial industry bailout that Congress created last year.
The pay limit comes amid a national outcry over huge bonuses to executives who head companies that seek taxpayer dollars to remain afloat. The demand for limits was reinforced by revelations that Wall Street firms paid more than $18 billion in bonuses in 2008 amid the economic downturn and the massive infusion of taxpayer dollars.
The limit would apply to top-paid executives at the most distressed financial institutions that are negotiating bailout agreements with the federal government. It also would apply to other banks that receive aid, but they could get around the limits by publicizing to shareholders plans to exceed the salary cap.
Unfortunately, I don't think the president went far enough because
The limits would not apply retroactively to any bank that received money from the first half of the $700 bailout allocated by Congress. For example, the restriction would not apply to such firms as American International Group Inc., Bank of America Corp., and Citigroup Inc., that already have received such help.
That's really a shame, because, in truth, these executives all, without exception, should have been fired, or asked to leave their positions, or, better yet, them being fired should have been a condition of receiving bailout money.

On the OTHER hand, Obama and his administration are placing a whole slew of new restrictions on companies:
Other new requirements on "exceptional assistance" will include:
_The expansion to 20, from five, the number of executives who would face reduced bonuses and incentives if they are found to have knowingly provided inaccurate information related to company financial statements or performance measurements.
_An increase in the ban on golden parachutes from a firm's top five senior executives to its top 10. The next 25 would be prohibited from golden parachutes that exceed one year's compensation.
_A requirement that boards of directors adopt policies on spending such as corporate jets, renovations and entertainment.
The administration also will propose long-term compensation restrictions even for companies that don't receive government assistance, Obama said.
Those proposals include:
• Requiring top executives at financial institutions to hold stock for several years before they can cash out.
• Requiring nonbinding "say on pay" resolutions — that is, giving shareholders more say on executive compensation.
• A Treasury-sponsored conference on a long-term overhaul of executive compensation
Compensation experts in the private sector have warned that intrusions into the internal decisions of financial institutions could discourage participation in the rescue program and slow down the financial sector's recovery. They also argue that it could set a precedent for government regulation that undermines performance-based pay.
"One of the big questions is whether it will make it more difficult to recruit and retain executives at these companies," said Claudia Allen, chair of corporate governance at the Chicago-based law firm of Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg.
The $500,000 cap "is a very tight limit," she said.
Timothy J. Bartl, vice president and general counsel for the Center On Executive Compensation, said the president's actions are a unique situation given the government's role bailing out troubled institutions.
"We do not view it as something that ought to be extended beyond this circumstance," he said.
On Capitol Hill, some lawmakers had been pushing for even stricter caps.
Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Sen. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., have proposed that no employee of an institution that receives money under the $700 billion federal bailout can receive more than $400,000 in total compensation until it pays the money back. The figure is equivalent to the salary of the president of the United States.
Even some Republicans, angered by company decisions to pay bonuses and buy airplanes while receiving government help, have few qualms about restrictions.
"In ordinary situations where the taxpayers' money is not involved, we shouldn't set executive pay," said Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, the top Republican on the Senate Banking Committee.
"But where you've got federal money involved, taxpayers' money involved, TARP money involved, and the way they have spent it, with no accountability, is getting close to being criminal."
And the companies and their officials are just not happy.

Oh, well. Tough shit. Neither are we, the taxpayers, from whom you've stolen so much.


Ted said...

While it should go without saying that even a legitimate President’s “ordered” $500,000 pay cap is an unenforceable intrusion into the private sector, as if that weren’t enough, Obama LACKS EVEN OSTENSIBLE AUTHORITY to issue the order UNTIL HE OVERCOMES “RES IPSA LOQUITUR” BY SUPPLYING HIS LONG FORM BIRTH CERTIFICATE AND PROVING HIS ELIGIBILITY TO BE PRESIDENT UNDER ARTICLE 2 OF THE US CONSTITUTION.

Am Kshe Oref - A Stiff-Necked People said...

Go bullshit someone else, idiot. It's so nice that you're so incredibly stupid you believe idiotic slander like that.

Am Kshe Oref - A Stiff-Necked People said...

Oh, and let me guess. You're going to provide links to "legitimate" websites that site "proof" about Obama's birth certificate stupidity. Don't bother.