Monday, 23 January 2012

Grrr! Executive pay. Grrrr!

The thing that’s so cool about Sir Shred is how him being such a cunt lets dicksplash politicians pretend they're actually doing something by going on about how ghastly he is, being seen to be doing something being the raison d’etre of the political class. Even better doing so personalises what is a global macroeconomic crisis in line with the mainstream news's fixation with personalities as opposed to dull Reithian crud like educating and informing.

You'd have thought though that the obvious political lesson of the Sir Shred pension debacle was that as politicians couldn’t do anything about it, they should've shut the fuck up and instead concentrated on things they actually could influence. Except that was/is too hard. So instead they chose to avoid dull stuff like ensuring a proper enquiry was held into RBS complete with proper investigations so as to ensure the cunt was legally hung out to dry.

Unfortunately, personality politics clearly remains too appealling, so rather than anything that's actually serious we're still left with politicians a) identifying a specifc individual to be demonised, then b) going on and on about his cash so as to distract from the vacuity of taking such a “political” stance as opposed to doing or coming up with anything that actually matters a fuck. Hence we've Ed Miliband trying to outdo Esther Rantzen as a consumer champion by stating “David Cameron should act to stop Stephen Hester (the current RBS CEO) being paid a bonus of this scale” and Vince – the tit – Cable rolling out a raft of bollocks to supposedly curb executive excess.

Now before going any further it’s worth being clear about Stephen Hester the man who inherited Sir Shred’s utter fucking disaster. See the important bit there? That's right, Stephen Hester had fuck all to do with creating the RBS disaster and is working through it to make as much money as he can for the taxpayer. Some of the chat I’ve also heard is that he doesn’t like financing aircraft largely on point of principle, but that aside he didn’t cause the RBS catastrophe. In fact I mind hearing him, when he was still British Land's CEO, speaking at a property investment shindig a few years back. There, in my view, he provided a superbly realistic and succinct assessment of the UK commercial property market’s prospects. By contrast at the same conference useless auld Martin Wolf’s economic commentary dismissed the then emerging sub-prime crisis as something very unlikely to affect the global economy (the irony here being Martin Wolf subsequently sat on the ICB, whose recommendations RBS is now in the process of implementing). But, in politico land that kind of practical shite doesn’t matter. Much better to go on and on and on (and on) about fat cat banker bonuses etc., and how they shouldn’t be paid.

Except, actually howz about these apples instead, like howzabout a review of current tax arrangements with a view to using the tax system to address the growth seen in economic inequality over the past few years cos that kidna works elsewhere? You know, howzabout mad shit like looking at current taxes on wealth including all capital gains as opposed to how much people earn. Mebbe we could consider introducing differentiated taxes on consumption that take into account the nature and price of the good (relative to comparable items) being bought, like say 5% extra on an Aston martin as opposed to a Kia. And can we really go for tax “efficient” individuals and corporations, like REALLY go for them regardless of how many good lunches they take tax inspectors out for.

There you go. Oops, sorry, that’s too complicated isn’t it? Sorry. Much better to posture like Ed Miliband or come out with utter shite like Vincey boy who’s just issued the following on executive pay:

“Measures proposed include:
• making firms' remuneration reports easier to understand, and requiring them to explain executive salaries in relation to the earnings of other employees (Piece of piss really, “it’s a global market for labour at that level and don’t you know Americans earn far more for doing similar jobs” ya de ya de yada for christ sake please ignore nation specific differentials in top CEO pay)

• increasing transparency by requiring the publication of all directors' salaries (And? No seriously, fucking and?)

• giving shareholders a binding vote on executive pay, notice periods and exit packages - at present their say is merely advisory (as many people have already said asking fund managers to interfere in shit like that is like asking crafty turkeys to vote for Christmas. They won’t and don’t give a fuck anyway cos its only ever a tiny % of a company's revenues/cashflow. Plus they've largely bought into the CEO cult of personality shite so are only bothered with who the CEO is not what he’s paid. As for the Cairn chat, please bear in mind exceptions prove rules, single swallows don't make summers, etc.,)

• encouraging a wider range of people onto company boards, including academics, lawyers, public servants and those who have never served on a board before (Hearing shite like this reminds me of that story about Volkswagon and how they set up a slush fund to provide the trade union reps who sat on company boards with free whores, shopping trips and Viagra. Or rather than buying people off you could simply appoint token idiots. Cetainly, Jeffrey Sachs doesn't appear to impressed with Dambisa Moyo the black woman on the Barclays board)

• requiring all companies to introduce "clawback" policies, allowing them to recoup bonuses in cases where they are later shown to be unwarranted (nah, fair dos that is a goody)”

So yeah, the bollocks we’ve got at the moment is written in wholly cretinous terms as dictated by the media. It doesn’t address fundamental issues like the morality of how the people that fucked shit up for the rest of us are still doing very-OK right now thank you very much and it appears when confronted with shit like the growing disparity of wealth (wealth being different to income), the only response we get is don't pay him a big bonus, don't pay hin a big bonus i.e. a focus on incomes and contractual stuff that can't actually be touched as the Daily Mash spelled out superbly today in a manner I'm guessing is already influencing broadsheet commentary on the stupidity of what's being said.

Like when you think about it you start wondering whether all politicians, either through chance or design, are actually in a give-me-a-highly-paid role-as-a-senior advisor-when-I-leave-parliament cahoots with the cunts intent on fucking us all. I mean the "analysis" and crud being spewed right now is so wide of the mark in its stupidity its got poor sods like me actually presenting what could be construed as partial defences of multi-million pound banker pay packages its that bad.

In the meantime back at the Daily Mash you've got the statement they made about Ed Miliband being a “fucking child” and are left wondering how broadly applicable that is when it comes to assessing the political class’s grasp of what’s actually going on.

Like to give a serious example, why the fuck has Andy Haldane’s utter destruction of using ROE as a measure of bank executive performance no even got a mention yet by any mainstream politicians? Or more broadly should the longstanding association between executive pay and company size i.e. the bigger the company the bigger the wage regardless almost of performance, not be controlled for when setting exec pay? Oops that's too complicated isn't it. Sorry 2x.

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