Well, we can always dream......

david52_gwMarch 5, 2013

"On Sunday, Swiss voters overwhelmingly backed proposals to crack down on executive pay.

Shareholders will be able to veto executive remuneration, golden handshakes and parachutes will be banned, directors will have to re-elected every year and anyone who breaks the rules may go to prison.

It will apply to all Swiss companies listed on Switzerland's stock exchange.

The reforms are the brainchild of Swiss businessman-turned-politician Thomas Minder. But business groups are worried the new rules will damage Swiss competitiveness.

Speaking to the Today programme's Simon Jack, Professor of Law and Finance at the University of Zurich Kern Alexander said: "What's brought this about in Switzerland is a series of corporate governance scandals.

"The role of institutional shareholders is becoming greater in corporate governance. Those shareholders exercise more influence and oversight in corporate governance affairs and so that trend in share ownership where institutions are playing a greater role will lead to more activism."

Alan MacDougall, Managing Director of UK shareholder group Pensions & Investment Research Consultants (PIRC), said: "There's a large scale public anger at work about the problem of pay. There's generally a big revulsion about the problems created by executive pay."

end quote.

5 minute audio with background info at the link.

Wai-da-minute! 'Austerity' wasn't for us, just you guys"

Here is a link that might be useful: Plus, they have great chocolate

This post was edited by david52 on Tue, Mar 5, 13 at 10:51

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
labrea_gw

Sort of a Maximum wage law!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 11:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rob333

I have finally figured out how I feel about "taking from the rich". It almost sounds like the nazis, who decided the wealthy didn't deserve it (for whatever reason, they just also happened to be Jewish a lot of the time), so they just seized it and did whatever they felt justified in doing with it. It's almost like that. I don't like the capping idea. See? I am a conservative! But here's the centrist ideas in me, just tax them, not disproportionately.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 11:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
david52_gw

This Swiss law stems from some pretty blatant rip-offs - executives and boards paying themselves fortunes as their companies went south. Which happens here in the US so many times we just yawn, because of "competitiveness".

Rob333, re "taking from the rich". I look it differently - its a question of more equitable distribution which leads to the social contract. When things get so far out of kilter, history has shown, time and time again, that bad things happen. "Erf wid' their 'eads!!!@!"

At the link is a 5 min video I've recently posted twice, but I'll do it once again. It initially covers what the country thinks is the wealth distribution, what it should be, and what it actually is. The later half of the video puts it in far better perspective than just a simple bar graph.

Here is a link that might be useful: link to video, yet again

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 11:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
marquest(z5 PA)

But here's the centrist ideas in me, just tax them, not disproportionately.

But the big problem is what is disproportionately? One man's appropriate is another man's not appropriate. Our tax codes treat how and where you get your money taxed different.

The taxes laws are so bad it is like if I find 40 thou on the ground I get to pay zero tax and you work all week and get 40 thou and you have to pay 26% tax. Is that appropriate? The Liberal in me says NO.

The greedy that set their income up on that tax code of free from tax scream taking my money.

I do not think we have heads of company that support their employees or think of them as human. I remember when I worked for a company that was having a struggle time. It was raise time. The President sent the accounting dept a memo he was forgoing his bonus and spread the funds into the salary account for raises and avoid layoffs.

How many heads of companies will say keep my million dollar bonus this year and line item that amount in employee salaries?

All of the Accounting Dept loved him because we knew what he did and wanted to take employees out back and flog them when we would hear what a horrible President. He was a slave driver but he at least was willing to pay his slaves.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 11:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rob333

"more equitable distribution"

This makes me cringe. I'm sorry, we disagree this time. This smacks of communism/socialism/too far off/fringe (who knows, but you get what I see), not capitalism. Maybe we should change or become more of an amalgamation, but it just seems so judgmental? I lack a better word. But it's not free market or what I think we typically strive for. I do know that things are very off kilter, though. Not the solution! In my estimation. I know the graph, I get the distribution is totally wrong. I love the graph. We just want to attack the problem differently. More like embargoes and/or tarriffs???? Something like that. If they want to build it somewhere else, or shelter the money somewhere else, they pay. If they want to give their executives competitive pay, that shouldn't be infringed upon.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 11:43AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
david52_gw

Did you watch the video?

And can you think of any free society that lasted very long with this kind of wealth imbalance? Strongman Dictatorships and brutal Fascist countries can go for a generation or two, but not hundreds of years.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 11:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jodik_gw

Personally, I don't see anything wrong with a law governing maximum wages paid.

When you look at the scale of pay versus productivity within some corporations, there's no way in hell that one or two people at the top are 3000 or more percent MORE productive than the least of their employees. There is such a thing as grossly overpaid... especially when you look at the wages earned at the bottom of the food chain, the drop in quality of products manufactured due to penny pinching in materials and labor, etc.

There was a time in recent history when companies wanted and thrived on the respect and continued business of their customers, and prided themselves on making quality items, or offering quality services. They cared what consumers thought, and wanted that market share. They also appreciated their employees, realizing that they were a large part of the success enjoyed by the company, and compensated them accordingly.

Today, it seems that every other company or industry is only interested in one thing... profit. And not just a comfortable profit, but ungodly amounts of profit at the expense of everything else... the workers' well being, their reputation for quality, etc.

And then there are those corporations that don't produce anything tangible and still rake in gross amounts of money... often at the expense of other companies and their employees, their products, etc.

The world of high finance and business have managed to make themselves look like complete gluttons to a large portion of the population struggling to earn a simple living.

I definitely think there are members at or near the top of the food chain that could use some ethical guidance... and if that must come in the form of legal regulation, so be it.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 12:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
david52_gw

"When companies go bankrupt, the misery is shared among many: Bond holders are wiped out, retirees see their pensions and benefits vanish, and employees lose their jobs.

But some feel no pain at all: CEOs and other top executives of companies that go through Chapter 11 receive robust compensation in the form of salary, stock grants and other benefits.

In some cases, they earn even more money than they did before the filing, even while other stakeholders suffer. It's the most unlikely fast-track to a fat payout ever, and it goes on in spite of federal legislation meant to crack down on corporate honchos feasting while everyone else fights over crumbs.

It wasn't supposed to be like this. In the wake of corporate catastrophes such as Enron, Congress passed legislation aimed at preventing companies from paying retention bonuses to executives at firms going through Chapter 11.

"You can't pay someone for just staying at a bankrupt company," said Robert Jackson, an associate professor at Columbia Law School at Columbia University, and former advisory to senior Treasury officials on executive compensation during the financial crisis. "But that's different from paying them from doing well at a bankrupt company," he said.

That distinction has become a loophole. Since the law allows performance-based incentives, huge executive payouts have morphed over the years to be little more than retention bonuses by another name, according to critics who say executives net outsized payouts even when they negotiate agreements that leave stakeholders out in the cold.

"There seems to be no sense of accountability at this level," said Steven Kropp, a professor at Roger Williams University School of Law. "In most of these cases, the unsecured creditors aren't being paid back in full, employees are being laid off, and in addition, they're finding their health insurance and pensions diminished." An investigation by The Wall Street Journal found that median compensation of CEOs at 21 companies that filed for bankruptcy was $8.7 million, just $400,000 less than the median compensation earned by CEOs at healthy companies. - snip -

The argument in favor of big bonuses, even when they come at the expense of employees, retirees and other unsecured creditors, is that successfully guiding a company through bankruptcy and emerging on the other side is a challenging, risky job, and most CEOs would bolt without the promise of millions in cash and stock for their trouble.

But research done by Ethan Bernstein, a Kauffman Foundation Fellow on leave from Harvard Law School, shows that CEOs of financially troubled companies quit or are ousted at the same rate whether or not they file for bankruptcy or muddle through with private restructuring.

For some, this raises the troubling possibility that Chapter 11 has become a back door for CEOs to grant themselves raises, especially in light of the fact that the Journal's research found CEOs at some troubled firms actually earned more after filing for Chapter 11.

"My belief is that CEOs and other senior executives can panic a board with the implied threat that they might desert the sinking ship if some formula is not found to give them extraordinary pay for their service in a crisis," Coffee said." snip end quote

Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 12:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
patriciae_gw(07)

Robb-how about if you looked at it like this-when the CEO gets paid a gazillion dollars to do what ever a CEO does, who actually made that money? Did the decisions of the CEO actually mke 3000 times the difference in the company bottom line or did the peons down at the bottom pegging away make that money? Someone does the work and takes a paycut and someone sits at board meetings and gets a raise. If the peon was getting the money it would be taxed because peon money has very few protections. If the CEO gets the money is is going to be sheltered in 50 different ways because the CEO doesnt need to use the money-this is part of the process of wealth distribution that David is talking about that is so very destablizing to our society. Free market is bunk-it is shinola. We have to establish rules that makes for a stable safe world-that is the purpose governance such as tax laws.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 12:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
demifloyd(8)

But business groups are worried the new rules will damage Swiss competitiveness.

*

Absolutely I think it will.

Attempting to assign pay based on percentages or to how much or how little an employee contributes IN COMPARISON TO ANOTHER makes no sense, except to the guy/gal that's not making as much.

What some fail to understand is a company places a value on different contributions from different employees.

An employee that contributes something that very few can--an employee with vision, with efficiency ideas, with invention ideas, with management skills--is very valuable to keep that company competitive and able to hire less skilled workers.

That type of employee is very desirable, and to retain that type of employee, a company places a certain value on that. People that can work an on assembly line are a dime a dozen.
People that can come up with ideas to expand, be more efficient, that can manage people and increase productivity are much more valuable.

The government has no business placing a cap on the value of that--the company itself knows the value, and should be able to determine what it values and who it values, and to what degree.

If the government caps what people earn, there is no incentive to do better. Then companies don't grow, they don't become competitive, they don't invent, they don't come up with fresh, new progressive ideas.

The become mediocre and inefficient--just like the government, and like the government foments.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 1:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sjerin

I'm happy to see this thread because this is what has been bugging me for quite some time. It seems to me that those who hold that companies and their top dogs should be allowed to make as much money as possible in any way possible have no ethical values at all. Is there no room for ethics in business? Is there no ratio, peon to ceo that seems obscene to you? How do you rationalize the disparity between those who "earned" enough to last many lifetimes, and those who work like dogs in the same company just to barely hold onto an apartment and serve some sort of dinner every night? Does having a superb and $$ education along with the recognition of the ability to think progressively for the company earn that person the right to take as much profit as possible, to the detriment of the lower-caste workers, many of whom do not even have the benefit of healthcare? I really hope a conservative will answer my questions.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 1:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
david52_gw

"The government has no business placing a cap on the value of that--the company itself knows the value, and should be able to determine what it values and who it values, and to what degree.

If the government caps what people earn, there is no incentive to do better...."

See, this is a prize example of a straw argument. The legislation the Swiss passed does not cap what the company CEO earns. The law says that the shareholders now vote on the salary and compensation.

Thats two different things. If the shareholders want to pay their CEO a bazillion, then they vote on it. If they don't want to, then they can vote it down.

It also bans "golden handshakes" which means that if, say, you decide to leave the company and work for the SEC, they can't pay you a $4,000,000 bonus for good times sake. Lets give an example, here: Dick Cheney leaving Haliburton to become the Vice President, along with a 22 million dollar severance package. Reeks, no?

On top of that, the evil socialists in Europe are going to put a penny or two tax on share transactions. OH THE HORROR!!!!!!

Here is a link that might be useful: The end of the world as we know it

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 1:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
demifloyd(8)

David--my comments were directed at the ideas I have read, and heard espoused on this forum before--that salaries of certain people should be capped by the government.

Same idea.

As to whether a company thinks someone is "worth" a certain amount--that is their business. Certainly employees and stockholders do not always agree with severance packages--the example you quoted I happen to agree with you about--but it is still the right of the company--even if they give the stockholders more say--and the government should have nothing to do with it.

That was my point--the the government should not tell businesses how to run their business. If they WANT the shareholders to determine who gets what kind of severance, that's their business.

But it's not the government's business to tell them HOW to run their business, in my opinion, although I may agree with the outcome, not the process.

Of course with conservative line of thinking, I am not always one that thinks the end justifies the means.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 2:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rob333

"it's not the government's business to tell them HOW to run their business, in my opinion, although I may agree with the outcome, not the process."

See? This is why I am conservative. It's not wrong. It's the flip side of the coin. There is a RobinHood mentality here. I don't agree with the outcome either. But we want to alleviate the problem different ways. It's why I part ways with the liberals here. It's not a good process to tax exorbitantly or cap salaries. The process for salaries isn't wrong; it's on a higher level for me.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 2:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
david52_gw

Oh, well thank goodness neither the Swiss nor Europe nor China nor America nor Canada nor Vietnam nor anyone else that I know of is even remotely talking about caping CEO salaries, I think we're safe from that kind of tyranny.

Dodd-Frank has companies publishing the ratio of CEO Salary to that of the median salary of the rest of the employees at that firm - so an investor would be able to find out that, say, the CEO earns 300 times what his employees earn. Publicizing is not the same as forcing.

"Wide gaps in pay can affect employee morale, productivity and turnover, several studies have found. In the 1980s, management guru Peter Drucker advocated capping the ratio of CEO pay to average worker pay at 20 to 1. Beyond that, resentment creeps in, according to the think tank Drucker Institute. In 2010, a joint study by Northeastern University's business school and Bentley University found that employee productivity decreases as the disparity between CEO and worker pay increases. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304458604577490842584787190.html

Here is a link that might be useful: Dodd frank blurb

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 4:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
marquest(z5 PA)

The attitude that Demi spouses "Dime a Dozen" is where the mindset of what has happened in our society. Those Dime a Dozen at one time were people that companies valued and thought of as deserving because the dime a dozen afforded the ones at the top to make 2 dimes.

Greed, without conscience, and feeling of entitlement has shown its ugly head. It is not about taking from the top. There was a time they felt a Personal Responsibility their employees. It was a badge of honor that your workers were happy to work for you and give 101% because they knew you cared.

The Badge of honor now is think of people as dime a dozen no face robuts.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 7:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
cornopean

This is such a stupid idea. Like all liberal initiatives, it makes us feel good, but it actually does harm. If you don't let these guys earn their huge salaries, they will go elsewhere. that is why so many rich folk are leaving France. and guess what.....they take their jobs with them. now you have so many low income people leaving California.

Here is a link that might be useful: It's not the rich who are leaving California

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 7:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
cornopean

This may come as a surprise to most liberals but people respond to incentives.

Campbell Soup CPB -0.19% announced in September that it was closing its 65-year-old plant in Sacramento, which employed 700 workers, and shifting production to North Carolina, Ohio and Texas.
Chevron CVX +0.37% is moving 800 technical positions��"in other words, jobs that aren't physically stationed on California rigs��"to Houston.
Comcast CMCSA +1.41% announced in the fall that it is moving 1,000 call-center jobs out of California because of the "high cost of doing business."
Facebook, FB -0.72% eBay EBAY -0.40% and LegalZoom have opened up Texas offices in the past few years, while PayPal, Yelp and Maxwell Technologies MXWL +2.97% have pushed into Phoenix.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 7:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
david52_gw

Did you even read the link?

Over the past two decades, a net 3.4 million people have moved out of California for other states. But contrary to conservative lore, there has been no millionaires' march to Texas or other states with no income tax. In fact, since 2005 California has experienced a net in-migration of households earning more than $200,000, according to the U.S. Census's American Community Survey.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 7:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
cornopean

Yes that is correct. Only wealthy people can afford to live in California. The businesses are moving their jobs out of state. and the middle class is following them. I don't see how that contradicts anything I've said. ?

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 7:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
cornopean

So are liberals happy with what is happening in California? The rich are moving in and the middle and lower classes are being forced out. but......liberals claim to be on the side of the poor....?

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 7:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
david52_gw

It actually has far more to do with housing prices than state income taxes.

But yes, California is dropping in its share of start-ups, but still # 1. #2, rising fast, is that really high tax state New York. And lookie where Texas is......

But that doesn't fit the myth, does it.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 8:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
demifloyd(8)

Posted by marquest z5 PA (My Page) on
Tue, Mar 5, 13 at 19:36

The attitude that Demi spouses "Dime a Dozen" is where the mindset of what has happened in our society. Those Dime a Dozen at one time were people that companies valued and thought of as deserving because the dime a dozen afforded the ones at the top to make 2 dimes.

Greed, without conscience, and feeling of entitlement has shown its ugly head. It is not about taking from the top. There was a time they felt a Personal Responsibility their employees. It was a badge of honor that your workers were happy to work for you and give 101% because they knew you cared.

The Badge of honor now is think of people as dime a dozen no face robuts.

*

That's a total misrepresentation of what I said.

The people themselves, as humans are not a "dime a dozen".

Companies don't hire people to pay them what they think their worth is as a human being--they hire them for what they can do for them--for employment. Work for pay.

However, their contributions to a company could very well be worth a "dime a dozen" as in nothing particularly special or requiring special talent or skills.

It's nothing to be ashamed of.

It just doesn't demand much pay because most anyone can do those sorts of jobs.

Supply and demand, don't "cha" know!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 9:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
cornopean

david52, why again are all those companies packing up and moving to Texas or other states?

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 9:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
marquest(z5 PA)

yea, yea Demi I understand your twisted outlook on life.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 10:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
david52_gw

david52, why again are all those companies packing up and moving to Texas or other states?

The reason most sited is the cost of living, particularly housing. Its far less in Texas.

But you're correct - wealthy, successful Americans are moving to California.

If anybody cares, at the link is an article from Forbes from last month discussing the issue.

Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 10:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

If higher-income families are moving into California - after we voted to raise income taxes on ourselves - I guess another conservative myth is shattered. Those that are coming into the state are the very ones that were predicted to be leaving the state.

Ho hum.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 10:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
demifloyd(8)

Posted by marquest z5 PA (My Page) on
Tue, Mar 5, 13 at 22:07

yea, yea Demi I understand your twisted outlook on life.

*

Twisted? Bwahahahha.

It's worked quite well for me, and people that emulate my view of life are happy, successful, charitable and admired.

If that's "twisted," we need more of it~ ;)

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 10:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

For the corn, the Forbes' summary:

Jed Kolko, Trulia Chief Economist

Trulia‘s Chief Economist discusses why neither jobs nor rich people are fleeing California. Instead, it’s the middle class and the poor. This exodus slowed down during the recession, but now that home prices are rising again, more people will leave the state.

Your Welcome, Corn

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 11:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
labrea_gw

Corn I'm beginning to believe you cannot write 5 words without including liberal tsk tsk tsk!

From WIKKI

Switzerland features a system of government not seen in any other nation: direct representation, sometimes called half-direct democracy (this may be arguable, because theoretically, the Sovereign of Switzerland is actually its entire electorate). Referendums on the most important laws have been used since the 1848 constitution.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 11:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
marquest(z5 PA)

Very good Demi. Everyone should live up to their expectations regardless of how low that bar is if that is as high as they can reach who could ask for anything more.

If you and your friends feel these are the highest standards you can reach and you are very happy in that position that is good.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 11:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
labrea_gw

Driven by attractive tax rates and the looming threat of a tax crackdown under a new Obama administration, Swiss drilling rig operator Transocean Ltd. (NYSE: RIG) and Swiss drilling products manufacturer Weatherford International Ltd. (NYSE: WFT) in 2008 and 2009 moved their headquarters from Houston to Switzerland. That included shifting the companies’ CEOs and other C-level executives from Houston to Europe.

Ah well so many people poured into the streets here angered over Bank bailouts & corporate jest flying to Washington to testify.
The Swiss had a more direct route to do something with their outrage over the shenanigans in their own country.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 12:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Factotem

demifloyd wrote,

It's worked quite well for me, and people that emulate my view of life are happy, successful, charitable and admired.

Admired. That seems very important to you.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 12:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
demifloyd(8)

Posted by marquest z5 PA (My Page) on
Tue, Mar 5, 13 at 23:54

Very good Demi. Everyone should live up to their expectations regardless of how low that bar is if that is as high as they can reach who could ask for anything more.

If you and your friends feel these are the highest standards you can reach and you are very happy in that position that is good.

*

Oh come on, Marquest, tell me how you really feel!~ ;)

The fact that I support personal responsibility, help to those that truly need with government dollars as well as personal dollars and charitable works (except those that refuse to try to do better and take advantage of the help) that I support low cost loans and health care to poor people--that's not good enough for you is it?

Sorry, I"m not interested in your partisan idea of how low or high a bar is.

I'm good with God, with myself, with my family, with my friends, with my community and those I help.

Hot topics posters--not on the radar.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 8:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Factotem

demifloyd wrote,

Hot topics posters--not on the radar.

So if you don't care what anyone here thinks about your opinions, and if you don't care about anyone else's opinions, why do you keep both posting and reading here?

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 8:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
esh_ga

This smacks of communism/socialism/too far off/fringe (who knows, but you get what I see), not capitalism.

The way I took it was that shareholders get some say in how business money is spent. They are not seizing the money; it stays in the corporation. It is just not going to the executives. It might be used for reinvestment, to grow the business.

Shareholders will be able to veto executive remuneration, golden handshakes and parachutes will be banned, directors will have to re-elected every year and anyone who breaks the rules may go to prison.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 9:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rob333

I don't disagree esh. I'm not sure what the solution is and why I suggest maybe we make the great melting pot become a new model, melting more of one type of economy, less of another economy--into an all new type of economy. If that makes sense. It's not right when the top eschelon has so much excess, while the lower can't even survive-within a corporation. HA! You thought I meant eschelons of society.

This too, is how communism worked out in reality--it wasn't spread around. Greed is an ugly thing.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 9:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
demifloyd(8)

Esh, I agree with you to some extent--in a perfect situation.

But in principle, investors know who decides what when they choose to invest. They already know the board of directors determines these things. Up to now, many of us have benefited from this and not felt we had to have a voice in how much people should be compensated.

I have reluctance that a government should dictate how a company makes it's decisions.

Also, what happens when a "group" of investors decides to take over a company and then THEY have the control because the government has forced the company to let the shareholders determine salaries, etc?

There is a great potential for abuse and mischief, in my opinion. There is a reason we get those proxy cards in the mail that allow the board of directors to vote. They generally know best and much, much, more than investors.

Usually, not always, the board of directors has the company's continued success and viability in mind when making decisions. Shareholders aren't in the position to know what they need to know.

There should be a balance, of sorts--but that's why Joe Blow off the street doesn't run the government. Too many people can pay off and recruit little guys to take down a government or company.

I see problems with the government becoming involved telling a company how to run it's business and compensate it's employees.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 9:22AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

I have reluctance that a government should dictate how a company makes it's decisions.

The first sentences of opening post: "On Sunday, Swiss voters overwhelmingly backed proposals to crack down on executive pay.

Shareholders will be able to veto executive remuneration, golden handshakes and parachutes will be banned, directors will have to re-elected every year and anyone who breaks the rules may go to prison.

It will apply to all Swiss companies listed on Switzerland's stock exchange.

Government is not deciding anything; the shareholders have the option to limit executive pay.

As for proxy votes, I recall several instances where well-publizied take-over attempts depended on shareholder elections of certain directors. I think one that involved Disney received as much coverage as any national election.

Corporations can exercise responsibility and remove themselves from the Swiss stock exchange if there is disagreement with a democratic vote.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 9:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
demifloyd(8)

Nancy--my point is that the GOVERNMENT is interfering by claiming it has the right to GIVE rights to shareholders to make decisions.

Why should a government have the right to remove rights and duties from the board of directors of a private company and then confer those rights and duties to others in a private business decision--by dictate or by voter participation?

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 9:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

my point is that the GOVERNMENT is interfering by claiming it has the right to GIVE rights to shareholders to make decisions.

The Swiss voters approved the right for the shareholders have the right to vote to limit - or not to limit - executive pay just as shareholders have the right in the U.S. to approve or disapprove directors.

Governments do have the right to control businesses - trust-busting by Teddy Roosevelt for one, regulations, etc.

Business can make the case that the executives deserve the pay. I can't count the number of times that I have heard that the primary responsibility of corporations is to their shareholders. So let them be responsible to the shareholders with regards to executive pay.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 10:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
demifloyd(8)

The Swiss voters approved the right for the shareholders have the right to vote to limit - or not to limit - executive pay just as shareholders have the right in the U.S. to approve or disapprove directors.

*

Nancy--who GAVE the right to the SWISS VOTERS to approve the right to the shareholders?

The GOVERNMENT.

--Edited to add:

Additionally, the government having and exercising the "right" to legislate interaction between companies, interstate commerce, and enacting monopoly legislation involves activity with the public and outside the inner workings and business decisions of a company.

Controlling the inner business decisions of a company and compensation of employees by legislating who makes those decisions is out of bound for a government, in my opinion, and a dangerous precedent.

This post was edited by demifloyd on Wed, Mar 6, 13 at 10:22

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 10:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
david52_gw

So, the Swiss Constitution that allows nationwide referendums on Swiss corporate management is "GOVERNMENT" interfering.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 10:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

who GAVE the right to the SWISS VOTERS to approve the right to the shareholders?

Oh, the risks of living in a stable democracy!

Those corporation chose to be listed on the Swiss stock exchange, and so to agree with the laws governing corporations. The anger of the public at outrageous CEO salaries has been growing. Has there been corporate responsibility in actions to blunt this image?

While the majority of Swiss voters approved the additional shareholders' rights, not all Swiss voters are shareholders, nor would they all share the same opinions. There may be no difference in executive pay because of this law, or minimal, or signficant. We'll have to wait to see the results.

Again, the corporations should abide by the laws of the country in which they operate. They have options if they find the laws too burdensome.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 10:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jodik_gw

I concur, Nancy. I think the growing disparity within the food chain is very troublesome, and I'm glad to see the Swiss find a way to tackle the issue.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 10:43AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
david52_gw

Its called 'backlash'. Or, in class warfare terms, 'blow back'.

The vote came about for a reason: a reaction against bloated, excessive CEO compensation with no relevance to company performance.

Ignoring that little bit of info, in the pious defense of exorbitant management compensation.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 10:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

...ignoring that little bit of info, in the pious defense...

Kiss up, kick down.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 1:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
demifloyd(8)

Posted by david52 z5CO (My Page) on
Wed, Mar 6, 13 at 10:52

Ignoring that little bit of info, in the pious defense of exorbitant management compensation.

Posted by nancy_in_venice_ca SS24 z10 CA (My Page) on
Wed, Mar 6, 13 at 13:58

...ignoring that little bit of info, in the pious defense...

Kiss up, kick down.

*

Spoken like resentful proletariat.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 2:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

And the phrase 'smug bourgeois' immediately comes to mind.

On can trade bromides all day, and place labels on those with opposing opinions and do nothing to advance the discussion.

Switzerland has the right to control activities within its national boundaries. It's only considered 'class warfare' when a return salvo is fired in response to egregious abuses.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 2:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
demifloyd(8)

Switzerland has the right to control activities within its national boundaries.

*

Absolutely it does.

It should be a warning as to what happens when the government gives control of companies to people that know nothing about running a business.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 2:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
david52_gw

What?

Governments give control of companies to people?

Actually, this is warning of what happens when enough of the population realizes they're being ripped off by incompetent CEO's.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 2:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
demifloyd(8)

The population or the shareholders?

Depending on the company, they're not always one and the same.

Usually incompetent CEOS get the boot.
Sometimes not soon enough, granted.

That's the company's decision, though.

Not the government's.

That's why I think the government should not subsidize private businesses.

They need to stay out of the inner workings of a business, including propping up a failing business. (except in case of national crisis).

This post was edited by demifloyd on Wed, Mar 6, 13 at 14:27

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 2:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

That's the company's decision, though.

Not the government's.

The government allowed a vote; now it's up to the shareholders to decide if they wish to curtail executive compensation. This will be done on a company-by-company basis. Please the shareholders, and all is well.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 3:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sjerin

From what I've read on this thread, it seems as if the conservatives have high regard for the business model of the Industrial Revolution. Am I incorrect in my understanding? Economic theories are all well and good, but when greed is thrown in, theories go to pot.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 4:28PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
The Universe #2
Just starting up a second thread with mom47's last...
vgkg
Not a Kodak Moment for Idaho Legislator
Makes you wonder why they keep trying. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/02/23/1366371/-Idaho-Republican-to-doctor-Can-a-woman-swallow-a-camera-for-a-pregnancy-exam-w-audio...
duluthinbloomz4
John McCain: "I’m Ashamed Of My Country "
Sen. John McCain said: “I’m ashamed of my country,...
dublinbay z6 (KS)
Boris Nemtsov Assasinated
Shot a few days before he was to lead a peace March!...
labrea_gw
France warns Russia
France Warns Russia And Its Allies Not To Advance On...
momj47
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™