Friday, March 09, 2007

Garrett- CEO Pay A.O.K.

House debates shareholder role in executive pay

WASHINGTON -- Lawmakers clashed today on whether shareholders should have a louder voice in approving executive pay, while a top regulator scolded companies for failing to deliver the clear-cut pay disclosures now expected by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

OK. So something needs to be done about executive pay disclosure. Not about the amount, mind you, about the fact that compensation isn't adequately reported to shareholders.

The SEC action "makes it easier to go forward," said Frank, who has argued that shareholders have the right -- and the wisdom -- to have a say in what's appropriate pay for their executives.

"To have a say." We're not talking about putting a cap on CEO pay here. (That's an argument for another time.) All that's being said is that shareholders have a right to know. If a representative put their constituents first, this would be a no-brainer.

But Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) worried that the proposal could pave the way for more intrusive government involvement in corporate pay decisions.

He compared Frank's proposal to "the camel's nose under the tent -- and I just wonder where we might go next."

So let me see if I understand. Tax cuts for the Paris Hilton crowd- great. Secret pay deals for CEOs- perfect. Tax cuts to Big Oil- awesome. Katrina aid- hell no. Clean water- nope.

Yup. Ernie's really got his finger on the pulse of NJ5. Seriously, folks. This guy's got to go.

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