No. of Recommendations: 2
More on the Swiss Plan to empower shareholders
Shareholders own the company , it's a shame that we need new laws to give them control over compensation of the top executives ,who are after all their hirelings?

It's notable that 68% of the Swiss electorate approved the plan. Fortunately for Swiss shareholders you can have plebiscites, direct vote of the populace. No necessity to go through elected officials, many of whom were long ago bought by the big money guys. In the US we have to go through the Senate and House and President, all of whom are deeply influenced by the substantial support that they have received from the very people that would be effected by these laws.

I'm not against big money pay for big performance. I'm definitely not in favor of the government directly setting executive compensation. Many in government would prefer for the power to be with them, so they will have yet another way to shake down executives. I'm just in favor of stopping abuse, making BOD pay for neglect of duty (not just with money that they can insure against, but with jail time) and giving power back to shareholders.

But I think shareholder approval will only work if it's voted on only by long term shareholders. And maybe institutional votes will have to be limited, they are only too willing to swap an executive friendly vote for access to management, those little hints about how the company is doing. All votes of more than a few hundred shares should be public information. If Vanguard or somebody is voting for excessive pay, you will know who to blame.
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