Monday, January 15, 2007

Executive Compensation Question for PCAOB

Senior level executive compensation has become problematic and controversial. Many exit packages become cause celebre due to their size. Essentially this means that the investing public at large is not truly aware of the cost of the golden parachute. Annual proxy statements may outline the mechanics of the various compensation formulae. Anecdotal evidence would suggest dissatisfaction with the technique.

Assuming that transparency allows for better investing decisions why not elevate the disclosure to true foot note status with an actual real number quarterly calculation indicating what the cost would be if someone is bought out of his or her contract for whatever reason.

This would allow the investor to monitor what they are actually paying. The contingent liability would be identified. Naturally it would also potentially focus scrutiny and debate on the value proposition of any particular arrangement. Clarity would be greatly served.