|Carson: Executive Pay Reform Will 'Usher in a New Era of Corporate Responsibility'|
June 11, 2009
Washington, D.C. – This morning, the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government Sponsored Enterprises held a hearing to explore how to improve oversight of the insurance industry and protect American consumers. At this hearing, Congressman André Carson had an opportunity to voice his concerns about excessive executive compensation:
“In the wake of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, many financial industry leaders have insisted that CEO compensation is ‘self correcting.’ They urge inaction on reform, insisting that shareholder and media scrutiny has already moderated pay for leaders of poorly-performing companies. They claim if we enact stronger reforms, our financial talent will be driven overseas and our economic recovery will be delayed.
“In any other industry, when someone takes excessive risks that lead to monumental failures, there are repercussions. Wall Street seems to expect a separate set of rules. For my constituents, this double standard is nothing new. They know that thirty years ago, CEO’s took home 30 to 40 times what average workers made--and now that number has exploded to 344 times an average worker’s pay. They know that while the average CEO pay dropped by a million dollars last year, many average workers were laid off.
“My hope it that industry leaders understand that calls for executive pay reform are not a retaliation for our current economic reality, but rather, an attempt to usher in a new era of real corporate responsibility.”
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