Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Onward to Corporatism!

From the NYT:
Responding to the growing furor over the paychecks of executives at companies that received billions of dollars in federal bailouts, the Obama administration will order the companies that received the most aid to deeply slash the compensation to their highest paid executives, an official involved in the decision said on Wednesday.

Under the plan, which will be announced in the next few days by the Treasury Department, the seven companies that received the most assistance will have to cut the cash payouts to their 25 best-paid executives by an average of about 90 percent from last year. For many of the executives, the cash they would have received will be replaced by stock that they will be restricted from selling immediately.

And for all executives the total compensation, which includes bonuses, will drop, on average, by about 50 percent.
Update: Alex Tabarrok predicts a brain drain:
There is no way this will work as advertised. If the administration actually follows through, most of these executives will quit and get higher paying jobs elsewhere. Executives not directly affected by the pay cuts will also quit when they see their prospects for future salary gains have been cut. Chaos will be created at these firms as top people leave in droves. Will the administration then order people back to work?
Tabarrok titled his post "Going Galt." As for his final question, "Will the administration then order people back to work?," Atlas Shrugged anticipated the query with Directive 10-289:
"Point One. All workers, wage earners and employees of any kind whatsoever shall henceforth be attached to their jobs and shall not leave nor be dismissed nor change employment, under penalty of a term in jail."