Friday, March 20, 2009

The ridiculousness of the executive compensation debate

and that 165million is spread over a lot of people, too

(thanks to John for sending this in)


  1. May I point out here that a million dollars is still (roughly speaking) the equivalent of an average American worker's entire life's earnings?

    175 billion is so large it's inconceivable, while 165 million is just exactly large enough for me to get steamed about. Spread it out over those lot of people, and what I see is my entire life's savings, handed to a guy who (as far as I'm aware) just cost me my life's savings.

    The outrage--and hence, the debate--stems from that even a dog would understand:

  2. decent point. But if your goal is to prevent defection of competent employees to other places that DO pay that amount because they're not run by the government, you don't really have a choice - it's called a positional externality. Inefficient? Probably. But as far as I've read, nobody's come up with a decent solution yet - legislating it is a disaster every time, so you basically just need some way of enforcing wage collusion across the entire industry... and even then, when startups are a possibility (easy in finance because of low fixed capital costs), that still doesn't work.