But to the CEOs the real obscenity is that people know just how obscene.
Nothing seems to get U.S. corporations’ dander up like a threat to the pay and perks of their chief executives.
That’s one explanation for corporate America’s superheated, turbocharged, over-the-top reaction to the CEO pay ratio rule recently proposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The rule requires most large public companies to calculate the ratio of the pay of their chief executive officer to the median pay of all their employees. Its general terms were mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act, which imposed numerous regulatory changes on corporate and banking behavior in the wake of the 2008 financial meltdown.
…It’s not hard to see why. Unlike most SEC regulations, the CEO rule isn’t really designed to provide information for investors. Rather, it’s designed to provide information for the larger community — for society, if you will. Its aim is to provide ammunition for the argument that the share of corporate profits going to top management, and by extension corporate shareholders, has gotten out of control.
In other words, a bunch of folks who feel no shame, want to avoid that possibility in perpetuity.