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Thread: The Political Compass Test

  1. #781
    Hall of Fame Member harsh.ag's Avatar
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    I personally don't find something wrong with CEO compensation relative to employee compensation. By definition, employee compensation is constrained by competition and marginal productivity, while the same is not true for CEOs (since they are paid for other things such as risk bearing) and in an age where company valuations are going into stratospheric numbers, one shouldn't be surprised at high CEO compensation. If you are an employee, then you should just recognise that and make your peace with it. Not that there aren't cases where people aren't being paid as much as they should be, but those are generally based on an individual's abilities and that's an organizational management question and not a political one.
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  2. #782
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    Quote Originally Posted by harsh.ag View Post
    I personally don't find something wrong with CEO compensation relative to employee compensation. By definition, employee compensation is constrained by competition and marginal productivity, while the same is not true for CEOs (since they are paid for other things such as risk bearing) and in an age where company valuations are going into stratospheric numbers, one shouldn't be surprised at high CEO compensation. If you are an employee, then you should just recognise that and make your peace with it. Not that there aren't cases where people aren't being paid as much as they should be, but those are generally based on an individual's abilities and that's an organizational management question and not a political one.
    What does this mean?

  3. #783
    Hall of Fame Member harsh.ag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uppercut View Post
    What does this mean?
    Constructing and executing new strategies, for instance.

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    International Coach StephenZA's Avatar
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    https://www.theatlantic.com/business...eo-pay/530127/

    This is the most recent article I have read on the subject of CEO compensation all which basically say the same thing, and regardless of the source, the prevailing opinion, is it is a big problem.
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  5. #785
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    Quote Originally Posted by harsh.ag View Post
    Constructing and executing new strategies, for instance.
    That's just part of the job description...?

  6. #786
    Norwood's on Fire GIMH's Avatar
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    I can only really speak from experience, people high up the chain where I work are paid significant sums but also always seem to fall on their sword. It's a high risk/reward balance I guess.

    Not saying that figure levels out with the accountability but I presume that's what harsh is getting at.
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  7. #787
    rather mad Norwegian Magrat Garlick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uppercut View Post
    That's just part of the job description...?
    what you're saying (at risk of sounding way sovcit here) is that the risk is incorporated in the CEO?
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  8. #788
    Hall of Fame Member harsh.ag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uppercut View Post
    That's just part of the job description...?
    Yeah, which involves risk bearing. Compensation will be high.

    Quote Originally Posted by StephenZA View Post
    https://www.theatlantic.com/business...eo-pay/530127/

    This is the most recent article I have read on the subject of CEO compensation all which basically say the same thing, and regardless of the source, the prevailing opinion, is it is a big problem.
    That article basically lists good reasons for CEO compensation to be high and then goes "but it seems so viscerally wrong". Of course CEO compensations are peer based. Same is true for employee compensations. Did he complain about that? Of course not. Because apparently employee's skills are transferrable to other companies but CEO's skills aren't. Amazing.

  9. #789
    Request Your Custom Title Now! Uppercut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GIMH View Post
    I can only really speak from experience, people high up the chain where I work are paid significant sums but also always seem to fall on their sword. It's a high risk/reward balance I guess.

    Not saying that figure levels out with the accountability but I presume that's what harsh is getting at.
    Yeah for sure, but they also tend to have a much easier time finding a job elsewhere.

    The idea that CEO pay can be explained by a free-market model implies, among other things, that:

    - British workers are contributing 10% less value than they were 10 years ago, and CEOs are providing 30% more.
    - CEO pay boomed during and after the Reagan/Thatcher years because those times happened to coincide with revolutionary new high-level management techniques that made them several times more effective than they had before.
    - American CEOs are 10-20 times better at their jobs than European ones
    - Bank CEOs in the 2001-2007 era were doing an absolutely impeccable job. Or maybe they were bearing a risk premium, because they were obviously the ones to suffer most when everything went wrong.

    etc. etc. etc.

    Whereas the political economy explanation not only fits the economic data, but can be traced back to specific meetings, lobbying efforts, appointments to regulatory bodies, interlinkages between political parties and industry, etc. etc. etc.

  10. #790
    Spanish_Vicente sledger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uppercut View Post
    It's not about which people get to the top. I actually mostly agree with what you've said. It's the fact that the people at the top get paid waaaay out of proportion to their contribution to the organisation, or to society.
    Probably not unique to private companies tbf.

    Could say the similar things about a lot of people who work in universities for instance.

  11. #791
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    Quote Originally Posted by harsh.ag View Post
    Yeah, which involves risk bearing.
    No it doesn't? Sorry but I'm really struggling to see where you're coming from here.

    The idea that CEO pay contains a risk premium is absurd. Has anyone ever turned down a CEO job because it's "too risky"? Maybe too stressful, too hard work, not suited to my personality, etc. But never "too risky". And obviously the risk premium needs to be much, much larger in the US, because nobody would want a job like that otherwise? It makes no sense.

    They're just workers with extremely high salaries and a lot of performance-based upside risk. The downside risk is borne by shareholders and debtors.
    Last edited by Uppercut; 27-06-2017 at 04:15 AM.
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  12. #792
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    Quote Originally Posted by sledger View Post
    Probably not unique to private companies tbf.

    Could say the similar things about a lot of people who work in universities for instance.
    Yeah damn right. Best not get me started. I could rant about this for days.

  13. #793
    Spanish_Vicente sledger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uppercut View Post
    Yeah damn right. Best not get me started. I could rant about this for days.
    Haha fair enough.

    You don't even have to go especially high up the chain in universities to find things like this either. We have a few principal lecturers who must be on about £60k p/a and they literally show up about twice a week for a few hours, do minimal teaching, do no research, and just piss about.

    Obviously £60k is probably a fraction of a CEO of a multinational corporation or whatever, but still.

  14. #794
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    Quote Originally Posted by sledger View Post
    Haha fair enough.

    You don't even have to go especially high up the chain in universities to find things like this either. We have a few principal lecturers who must be on about £60k p/a and they literally show up about twice a week for a few hours, do minimal teaching, do no research, and just piss about.

    Obviously £60k is probably a fraction of a CEO of a multinational corporation or whatever, but still.
    Haha yeah true but at least that's not systemic.

    Maybe the moral is that if you were a socialist, working will open your eyes, and if you thought a market system produced fair outcomes, working will also open your eyes. Whatever your ideology is, it's bollocks.
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  15. #795
    International Coach StephenZA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harsh.ag View Post
    Yeah, which involves risk bearing. Compensation will be high.



    That article basically lists good reasons for CEO compensation to be high and then goes "but it seems so viscerally wrong". Of course CEO compensations are peer based. Same is true for employee compensations. Did he complain about that? Of course not. Because apparently employee's skills are transferrable to other companies but CEO's skills aren't. Amazing.
    It is peer based on artificially created 'peer structures', determined by the executive board itself. It is not market related in terms of supply and demand like normal employee skills.

    So here we have a community of CEO's and executive board members (ex-CEO's and wannabe CEO's) determining their own salaries and pointing to other CEO's who determining their own salaries, who point back to whoever is earning the highest. And I also know that these boards, for fairness, get in auditors to ensure that salaries are comparative and 'fair', expect that the auditor is hired by the company with a CEO that determines who the company does and does not hire.... So what you have is a closed loop, not being impacted by outside forces. Don't get me wrong I am fully aware that some CEO's are worth their weight in gold both to the company and the employees of that company. But the system needs to be revamped and has big issues.

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