Executive Compensation

New (02/04/09) CCP’s Reaction to Obama Administration’s New Executive Pay Policy

REPORT on CEO Pay“Selfish Interest: How the Business Roundtable CEOs Stand to Lose From Real Reform of CEO Pay”

Check out these relatedFACT SHEETs:

What Congress Can Do About Executive Excess, and

Refuting Phony Justifications for CEO Greed.

Our general description of policies to address CEO pay is archived here.

The House Financial Services Committee marked up “The Shareholder Vote on Executive Compensation Act” (H.R. 1257) in 2007. The bill is more commonly known as the “say on pay” bill — because it would give shareholders an advisory vote on executive compensation.

The Government Contractor Accountability Act of 2007 (H.R. 3928) would require large government contractors that receive more than 80 percent of their annual gross revenue from Federal contracts to disclose the names and salaries of their most highly compensated officers.

The House has so far refused to pass a $1 million cap on the amount of executive compensation that can be deferred tax-free, a measure that was introduced in the Senate Finance Committee and later passed by the Senate, as part of the minimum wage bill. (See page 6 of this summary. The legislative package, known as the “Small Business and Work Opportunity Act of 2007,” also closes loopholes in the law that allow corporations to reincorporate offshore to avoid taxes and let corporations deduct certain fines and penalties). For related analysis about the deferred compensation cap provision, go here.

General information on CEO Pay:

Too Much is a useful weekly newsletter about CEO pay issues.

The Institute for Policy Studies and United for a Fair Economy release a report on executive compensation each year. The 2006 Executive Excess Report explored how oil and defense company CEOs have profited handsomely off the war and rising gas prices.

The 2005 Report“More Bucks for the Bang” is a special report on defense industry CEOs. According to another study by two U. of Texas economists, “a country’s reduction in military spending could reduce income inequality.” The 2005 report also found that as of 2004, the ratio of CEO:Worker pay among the S&P 500 is still at least 431-to-1 (not including certain forms of stealth compensation) – ten times higher than the 42-to-1 ratio that it stood at 25 years ago.

The 2004 report, Executive Excess (2004) (PDF Version) found that CEOs who outsourced more jobs were paid more than other CEOs. Top outsourcers earned an average of $10.4 million in 2003, 28 percent more than the average CEO compensation of $8.1 million — which is still 301 times that of the average production worker (up from 42 to 1 in 1982). Be sure to see previous “Executive Excess” reports issued in 2003 and2002

report (11/05) by the Center for American Progress found that energy industry CEO compensation has increased by 215% since 2002. During that same period, the price for a gallon of gasoline increased $2, or 174%. According to the New York Times (2/05/06), “Analysts estimate that every $1 increase in the per-barrel price of oil translates into a 1.5 percent increase in Exxon Mobil’s earnings. Because a significant portion of executive pay at Exxon Mobil is related to earnings growth (as is the case at many companies), rising oil prices mean bigger paychecks.” ExxonMobil announced record earnings in 2005: $36.13 billion, a 43 percent increase over the previous year.

Gar Alerovitz, author of America Beyond Capitalism has compiled a list of businesses and groups working for economic justice and equity. He has also published articles like this one for the Nation and other publications.


OtherRelated Reports and Links
The Corporate Library
Responsible Wealth (United for a Fair Economy) Shareholder Advocacy Campaign
AFL-CIO Executive Paywatch (lets you research pay of top execs at specific companies)
Shareholder Action Network 
Too Much (online)
Pay Without Performance
Harvard Study of CEO Pay (1993-2003)
Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance Journal
Conference Board report on Executive Compensation 
United for a Fair Economy
Greed and Good by Sam Pizzigati is THE book on CEO compensation and corporate reform.
Inequality.org is a new web site that explores issues of economic inequality.
Living Wage Campaign (ACORN)