Archive for October 22nd, 2009

Not many people are willing to defend generous pay packages for CEOs, so I got tapped to appear on both the ABC and CBS morning shows. I prefer the CBS clip, in part because they had a nice set, but it is always frustrating to do interviews for the network shows because you talk for 10 minutes and they use 10 seconds. I understand why they have to use that approach, but it means there is not much ability to make a thorough argument – which is important for those of us who want to defend market forces in general but don’t have much sympathy for executives of the companies that are putting their snouts in the public trough.

I recommend this post at the Cato-at-Liberty blog for those who want a more complete analysis of the issue.


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I rarely feel conflicted on issues, but I’m not sure what to think about compensation limits for executives at banks that have received bailouts.

On one hand, it is incredibly destructive for the incompetent and venal politicians and bureaucrats in Washington to interfere with private compensation decisions.

On the other hand, companies that are sticking their snouts in the public trough are no longer real private entities. And if we want to discourage more firms from trying to fleece taxpayers, I suspect there are few things more effective than threatening the salary of the CEOs and other top executives.

I’ve been doing a lot of media on this topic. As you can see from this CNBC clip, this is a tough issue to handle, though I always try to make the one clear point that the entire problem could have been averted by not doing bailouts in the first place.

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