December 3, 2014
I support disclosure requirements for CEO pay for the following reasons.
Shareholders have a right to know how much CEO's are earning in real dollars and whether or not they are getting their money's worth. The current system seeks to set this information aside, amounting to pulling the wool over the eyes of the people who, in theory, own part of the company.
Shareholders and investors can make better decisions on whether CEO performance is commensurate with their compensation. Accountability and rational decision-making is the purpose of transparency, not "making someone look bad." If you "look bad," perhaps you're not up to the job?
To promote discussion on when and how profit is re-invested into the company, or merely shoveled out into someone's off-shore account. This process is hollowing out many companies and delaying innovations that would, with some irony, actually benefit certain greedy CEOs.
To restore confidence in the markets. Each time there's a bump downward, the same voices get louder, with more credibility, as to whether CEO compensation should increase 400 fold while investors', employees' and customers' do not. Do you really believe, if unchecked, this is sustainable?
The marketplace is dynamic. No doubt quick workarounds and talented lawyers will contrive to derail and detour this reasonable request. That's okay. When that happens we'll just go through another similar process until we learn to play fair with other people's money, investments, and livelihoods. To not do so supports a culture of criminality and gangsterism. Let them play this way in Putin's Russia.
Thank you for accepting my input on this matter. My entire retirement rests directly (investments) and indirectly (Social Security) on a successful markets system. We all live in it. Any threat to that system, especially from inside, is a major concern for me and dilutes my peace of mind and confidence in so-called free market capitalism.
In a perfect world we would need no government policing of our personal business activities. I guess that's the anarcho/libertarian ideal? As much as I admire it, it's still a fantasy. There are too many bad actors and it's time to put an end to their behavior. Let's not forget that in the past, societies around the world have used rather heavy-handed and indelicate methods of affecting change. I prefer the rule of law, myself. This is what makes America exceptional.