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May 02, 2007

CEO Watch

Dean Baker writes:

While it may be too early to make any final judgments, it will be interesting to see what happens to Circuit City's CEO. Those who say that the huge salaries earned by CEOs are justifed, argue that the returns that a good CEO brings to shareholders dwarf their salary. In this case, a CEO made a decision that not only had a very bad impact on the lives of 3,400 employees, but also may have cost the stockholders lots of money. (It is unlikely that any of the 3,400 fired workers would have made such a foolish decision, if they ran the company.)

This would actually be a fun project for some union to start up. Watch for companies that engage in large layoffs but pay the executive princely sums. Then watch the company's trajectory. If sales flatten out, and profits decline, and stock prices slip, but the CEO either retains his job or is lavished with compensatory goodies when he leaves, he'll make a nice riposte to those claiming CEO pay is perfectly fair and rational.

And yes, in-between calling for military coups and bashing liberals, some people do claim that.

May 2, 2007 | Permalink

Comments

Well the AFL has something they call Executive Pay Watch that does some of what you are talking about.

http://www.aflcio.org/corporatewatch/paywatch/index.cfm

Posted by: Jake | May 2, 2007 2:00:23 PM

I have heard the bashing, the gnashing of teeth and the whining about salaries that are negotiated between two private parties.

What I haven't heard is what you would like to do about it.......nothing and just bitch?

Posted by: Fred Jones | May 2, 2007 3:32:33 PM

"What I haven't heard is what you would like to do about it.......nothing and just bitch?"

Guillotines.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | May 2, 2007 3:40:34 PM

Aw heck, slightly tangential to topic, but I will try to connect...

Squandering the Spoils ...The Agonist on a gated community outside Phoenix

"The houses in this development range in size from about 4,000 sq. ft. to 8000+ sq. ft. Imagine the energy needed to cool these behemoths in the hot Phoenix summer, when temperatures reach 115 to 120 degrees. Or to heat them in the winter, when nighttime temps hover in the 30s and sometimes dip below freezing.

The Homeowner's Association (HoA) explicitly prohibits desert landscaping of lawns--they must instead consist of full, bright green grass with no artificial turf and no brown or yellow spots. Annual rainfall in Phoenix is somewhere around 7 inches.

Each home was built with a light sensor that automatically turns on an array of lamps on the lawn when the sun goes down. These outdoor lights, used to illuminate each home, use 100 watt bulbs and cannot be turned off with a switch. There are several lamps on each lawn. They stay on all night long, until the sun gets high enough to trip the light sensor. Replacing the bulbs with something dimmer will get you a visit from the HoA.

Nearly half the houses in the neighborhood are now empty because summer is approaching. These are apparently winter homes for wealthy people who live in colder climates."

We have to tell people that they can no longer live like this, even if they can afford it. We can't afford it, they are going to kill us all. We have to take Bill Gates beautiful house from him and put him in 2500 sq ft apartment. He can fill it with wall-to-wall Matisses.

I suspect Gates & the upper class will resist. We will need many guillotines. Just kidding.

Oh. Of course the title refers to the "Spoils of War" in case you thought we were leaving Iraq.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | May 2, 2007 3:50:47 PM

"What I haven't heard is what you would like to do about it....."

Progressive taxation.

Posted by: JBL | May 2, 2007 3:59:33 PM

"Imagine the energy needed to cool these behemoths in the hot Phoenix summer, when temperatures reach 115 to 120 degrees. Or to heat them in the winter, when nighttime temps hover in the 30s and sometimes dip below freezing"

I'll bet solar panels are against the regs!

Posted by: CParis | May 2, 2007 6:02:00 PM

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Posted by: judy | Oct 8, 2007 5:34:20 AM

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