Kiss those seven-zero paychecks goodbye, corporate America. This afternoon Handsome Treasury Elf Tim Geithner held a press conference to kick off a new era of executive compensation, and you are not going to like this one bit…
The Obama administration announced it will seek new powers for the Securities and Exchange Commission to force firms to let shareholders vote on executive pay and make directors who set compensation more independent, without setting any outright caps.
Today’s proposal, subject to congressional approval, would cover all U.S. public companies.
Oh, the SEC will oversee this? Great idea! They've done such a fine job with corporate oversight lately. Nothing gets past those people.
We are not capping pay. We are not setting forth precise prescriptions for how companies should set compensation, which can often be counterproductive. Instead, we will continue to work to develop standards that reward innovation and prudent risk-taking, without creating misaligned incentives.
And the nice thing about not setting any precise prescriptions is that Tim Geithner can decide, if he is bored on a Wednesday, that Vikram Pandit (for example) has totally misaligned a bunch of incentives and therefore should be smeared with honey and thrown into a tank of fire ants.
Have fun with that, guys!
Tags: Economy, Executive Compensation, SEC, Timothy Geithner