We Told Ya So, Say on Pay is a Joke

Remember Say on Pay, the legislation that was supposed to curtail executive compensation, yet ended up being watered down to nothing? Now a token symbol?



A new report by the Wall Street Journal and Hay Group on executive compensation shows CEO pay increased 11% in 2010.

The report is biased implying these outrageous amounts are more based on corporate performance. Well, as the Associated Press reports, that performance was firing you. Multinationals squeezed workers, offshore outsourced more jobs and that is what they call performance to justify an 11% overall increase.

Base salaries remained flat at $1.1 million, while annual incentive payments increased by 19.7 percent to $2.2 million, yielding a 12.8 percent increase in overall cash compensation at $3.4 million. For the first time in two years, long-term incentives increased, they grew 7.3 percent to $6.2 million.

The report also notes shareholders are not even bothering to have their symbolic, meaningless vote on executive compensation:

The post-mortem of 2010 suggests that despite increasing governance, Main Street and regulatory pressure on executive compensation, pay levels will continue to increase when company performance improves.

Thus far, the 2011 proxy season has not been much of a test of shareholders’ views on executive pay programs. As pay levels have increased, and even as shareholder advisory groups like Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis have recommended voting AGAINST company ‘say on pay’ proposals, relatively few shareholders have actually used their advisory vote to oppose pay decisions.

So despite the fact executives make 300 times more than the rest of us, and we have outrage upon outrage, nothing really happens to rein in such inequality on pay.

Notice how Wall Street and the pay report never mentions a word about the United States economy and that performance, so heavily influenced by these large multinationals.