The Anger Behind Obama’s Executive Pay Limits

By
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 at 8:58 am

President Obama’s expected moves today to limit pay, bonuses and perks for executives of companies that get government bailouts, reflect a kind of populist anger not seen in decades, Bloomberg reports.

Thomas Mann, a scholar at the Brookings Institution in Washington, said the anger hasn’t been this pronounced since Franklin Roosevelt took office during the depths of the Great Depression in 1933.

Roosevelt gave voice to a public rage against “a generation of self-seekers,” in his inaugural address. “Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion,” said Roosevelt.

Along with imposing a $500,000 salary cap for top executives of firms that get significant amounts of government assistance, the Obama administration also wants to limit perks. From Bloomberg:

Any additional compensation will be in restricted stock that won’t vest until taxpayers have been paid back, according to an administration official, who requested anonymity. The rules will force greater transparency on the use of corporate jets, office renovations and holiday parties as well as golden parachutes offered to executives when they leave companies.

I’m not sure the the corporate world really understands what’s about to hit it. This will be just the beginning of a major overhaul of the financial system – something that will be popular with the American people. And Wall Street has no one to blame but itself, by flouting the economic pain of ordinary Americans with corporate jets, Super Bowl parties, and lavish retreats.

Everyone figured out that the party was over a while ago, when they started saving instead of spending, when they saw the house down the street go into foreclosure, and when they read about the executives of the bank that profited from the mortgage taking in a huge bonus.

I guess the world of high finance isn’t all that complicated after all.

Comments

2 Comments

Wonk Room » Obama’s Executive Compensation Cap: A Good Start
Pingback posted February 4, 2009 @ 1:58 pm

[...] at the Washington Independent, “I’m not sure the the corporate world really understands what’s about to hit it. This will be just the beginning of a major overhaul of the financial system.” Indeed, this [...]


Obama’s Executive Compensation Cap: A Good Start
Pingback posted February 4, 2009 @ 5:11 pm

[...] wrote at the Washington Independent, “I’m not sure the the corporate world really understands what’s about to hit it. This will be just the beginning of a major overhaul of the financial system.” Indeed, the pay [...]


RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.