From: Louise E. Burg
Securities and Exchange Commission
Dear Securities and Exchange Commission,
I am writing to urge the Securities and Exchange Commission to compel companies to disclose executive compensation (including stock option;, expense allowances; home, vehicle, clothing, vacation or other personal provisions; pension or buyout packages; and any/all other means of rewarding them) as a mandatory action.
It has long distressed me that these compensations drive up prices and cripple the wages of non-executive employees.
That this happens when many companies are underperforming,losing money, or entering bankruptcy is appalling. Why they are rewarded when employees and stockholders are robbed is immoral and should be illegal.
When I read, approximately seven years ago, that the CEO of Travelers Insurance earned $400 million (!) per year, I understood why insurance rates have skyrocketed and why we can ill afford the insurance we pay for life, home and auto coverage. It also explains why there are so many uninsured and underinsured citizens and why the wages of the worker are so low.
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.
I believe that independent directors should set CEO pay. Under the proposed rule, a director could secretly do $120,000 in business with a company, an amount that is more than four times the average worker's annual pay of $27,460. Shareholders should be told if directors have potential conflicts of interest, no matter what the amount.
I also urge the SEC to require that companies disclose pay-for-performance data. In order 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.
Louise E Burg