April 7, 2005
Securities and Exchange Commission
Dear Securities and Exchange Commission,
I urge the Securities and Exchange Commission to adopt new rules to require companies to explain executive compensation packages in plain English.
I'm ABSOLUTELY OUTRAGED by exhorbitant executive compensation by mediocre-performing companies who then lay off the people who do most of their work -- and often gut the workers' pensions in the bargain.
Such companies are unpatriotic and anti-American. They certainly are doing a great job undermining the American middle class. And I have to wonder how much such short-sighted, selfish leadership is undermining American competitiveness, creativity, invention and innovation!
Without better disclosure, shareholders, employees and the general public cannot evaluate whether executive pay packages are unjustly enriching executives at shareholder cost or providing fair compensation.
The newly proposed rules will make this crucial information more accessible to shareholders and the public. The new requirements to disclose total compensation figures, pensions and detailed compensation breakdowns will make it clear exactly how much top executives are earning and why.
Clear rules and fair compensation will reduce a growing public animosity against highly paid corporate executives. It might even improve their performance, vision and foresight!
I believe that CEO pay should be set by independent directors. And it's obvious shareholders should be told if directors have potential conflicts of interest.
I also urge the SEC to require companies to disclose pay-for-performance data. For investors to understand how pay and performance match up, companies need to explain more clearly what level of performance is necessary for a particular level of pay. I urge the SEC to require companies to disclose both the performance criteria and the performance targets they use when setting executive pay.
Susan S. Pastin