Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Restricting Senior Executive Pay

In the past week, there have been numerous comments about overreaching by the Federal Government in placing caps upon the pay of the top twenty-five executives in companies that have received major government investment.

Government determining the pay of executives is clearly an overreach, but I find it hard to criticize the modest restrictions.

Consider the situation if these institutions were not banks, where bankruptcy was a legal option. Under such circumstances, every employee in the organization would likely be facing firing, salary and other reductions in remuneration.

Banks are difficult to put into bankruptcy because such events would trigger complex and cascading contract events, so the Fed, the Treasury and other regulators have been forced to take over these financial institutions in a "soft" bankruptcy.

When government involvement is looked at in this light, perhaps the complaint should be that more has not been done.

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