Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Proposed Financial Reform Not Good For Executives

Some of the proposals from the new financial reform bill may make executives nervous. Are rewards for whistle blowers and giving shareholders an advisory vote on executive pay examples of government overreaching their authority? Stanley Bing discusses the proposed financial reform bill in the following post from The Street.

The House of Representatives, that hotbed of liberalism, is now working on legislation that would make sure the depredations of the 2000's would never happen again. I consider this a very good thing, as long as none of the regulations apply to me personally.

For instance, I'm all for the idea of a consumer protection agency mandated to oversee credit cards and mortgages. It's clear that excesses in those arenas led to the virtual collapse of our economy, and that changes in the area are not only necessary, but wouldn't have a negative impact on me at all. I might even benefit from it in some remote way. So that sounds pretty good.

I also applaud the effort to use TARP money to help protect the unemployed from foreclosures. There is no reason why those big dollops of cash should be used exclusively to help financial institutions and their managers. Everyday Americans in trouble should have access to them, too. Also, a solid real estate market can only benefit people who own their own homes, like me. Once again, way to go, House.

I'm a little more dubious about the idea of rewarding whistle blowers who rat on their own executives, even if the latter are engaging in securities fraud. As a concept, it sounds good. But too many whistle blowers are loose cannons. I'm a corporate executive. I hate loose cannons. I only like cannons that are securely tied down. So I'm not against supporting whistle blowers, really. It just makes me a little nervous.

As for the notion of giving shareholders an advisory vote on executive pay... no, I don't think I like that one at all. Who does the House think it is? What is this? Russia? Thank God we have the Senate around to protect my interests, or else I'd be really worried.

This post has been republished from The Street, an investment news and analysis site.

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