Big gobs of stupid make Baby Jesus cry...
There have been numerous articles/radio show screeds against the recent decision to cap executive pay of banks that receive TARP funds that read like a textbook of Missing The Point Entirely 101 but I'm going to rant against Carly Fiorina's editorial because it reads as if she wrote the Cliff's Notes version of that textbook.
Oh sure, her points sound eminently reasonable on their face: we need more transparency on CEO pay, CEO compensation should be voted on by shareholders, any bank that has failed to the point that TARP funds are needed should be followed by that CEO's resignation. I'm for all of that! If we had a corporate culture that encouraged any of those reasonable standards perhaps we wouldn't even be in this financial mess. But that ship has long passed over the horizon and discovered the New World. Hell, Ms. Fiorina seems to have forgotten that not only have these banks received TARP funds, THEY'VE ALREADY USED THEM TO CONTINUE THEIR PRACTICE OF UNDESERVED BONUSES! Talking about good behavior, now, NOW, finally, after we've demanded some accountability, is balls, pure and simple. She's like the sullen teenager who, after spending months stealing money out of his parents' dresser and skipping school, promises he'll be good as Dad disconnects his XBox and takes his TV out of the room
And the one thing that comes through in her commentary is her obnoxiously condescending attitude towards the American taxpayer:
"And because the American taxpayer is now a partial owner in many companies, the government can get a vote as well -- in some cases a very sizeable vote."
Oh, how generous of you! Wrong. Look what she says earlier:
"Americans are outraged over excessive CEO pay and perks. That outrage is justified, particularly when American taxpayers are footing the bill."
It's not "part" of the bill we're footing? Well, then we get the say. And as a taxpayer, I think executive pay capping's a great idea. Heck, even Richard Shelby agrees on this one!
And to all of those who cry "socialism" so often I keep expecting Inigo Montoya to show up. I'd like to point out that if bank execs find the conditions attached to receiving the bailout too draconian, they're absolutely free not to take them. I'm sure brilliant executives like Carly Fiorina will help you get back to solvency...