Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Swiss Referendum Backs Executive Pay Curbs

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the torn-golden-parachute dept.

Businesses 284

gollum123 writes in with news that Switzerland may soon have the world's strictest corporate rules. "Swiss voters have overwhelmingly backed proposals to impose some of the world's strictest controls on executive pay, final referendum results show. Nearly 68% of the voters supported plans to give shareholders a veto on compensation and ban big payouts for new and departing managers. The new measures will give Switzerland some of the world's strictest corporate rules. Shareholders will have a veto over salaries, golden handshakes will be forbidden, and managers of companies who flout the rules could face prison.The 'fat cat initiative', as it has been called, will be written into the Swiss constitution and apply to all Swiss companies listed on Switzerland's stock exchange. Support for the plans — brain child of Swiss businessman turned politician Thomas Minder — has been fueled by a series of perceived disasters for major Swiss companies, coupled with salaries and bonuses staying high."

cancel ×

284 comments

Good (5, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#43070815)

The job doesn't justify the salary. They claim it offsets the high risks, but then they walk away with millions when it all goes wrong.

I do a good job as a matter of personal pride and professionalism, even though I'm not earning a massive salary and annual bonus.

Jealousy (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43071143)

If you boil this down, what you are left with is the disgusting stench of jealousy. Who are you to say that another person's salary is unjustified, if that person's salary was achieved through voluntary association? After all, your solution is coercion. And you dare asset that YOU are the morally superior one? You've got it backwards.

I am 38 years old, make less than $40,000 a year, and in all probability won't make any more than that for the remainder of my life. I'm guessing you make a lot more than that, as do most slashdotters. But the difference between you and me isn't money. The difference is that I have accepted my place in life, as well as the fact that certain others will have orders of magnitude more than I have. The difference is that I can see right through the smokescreen of moral superiority.

Re:Jealousy (4, Informative)

master5o1 (1068594) | about a year ago | (#43071319)

The difference between you and me is that you're anonymous and I am not.

Re:Jealousy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43071513)

Because you have a little tag next to your name? I don't see your home address and phone? Sorry having a tag next to your name makes yo no more well known on the internet than having anonymous next to his. I'll change my stance once I see your verifiable full name, home address and phone number, otherwise in my book, your just as anonymous as the guy before you.

Re:Jealousy (4, Informative)

master5o1 (1068594) | about a year ago | (#43071573)

Re:Jealousy (5, Funny)

Schmorgluck (1293264) | about a year ago | (#43071635)

Not bad, but I got far more results by searching "Anonymous Coward".

Re:Jealousy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43071575)

master501, I apologize for being a simpering tool of the Republican Party, here in America, in the Deep South. Truly, there is no difference between you, master501, and myself, Anonymous Coward due to that tag though. That tag does not let you maintain a consistent and check-able post history by which your reputation is established over time. Why anyone could have posted as you! My idiotic self though, is clearly the superior.

Derpa derpa derp.

Re:Jealousy (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43071351)

Who are you to say that another person's salary is unjustified

A voice representing the majority who are not rewarded (to excess) for failure.

I'm guessing you make a lot more than that, as do most slashdotters. But the difference between you and me isn't money. The difference is that I have accepted my place in life, as well as the fact that certain others will have orders of magnitude more than I have.

I am compensated by my employer based on my performance and contributions to my company. Should I be compensated by my employer if I take away from my company?

The difference is that I can see right through the smokescreen of moral superiority.

Your moral compass is out of calibration.

Re:Jealousy (5, Insightful)

Khashishi (775369) | about a year ago | (#43071445)

The difference is that I have accepted my place in life,

and ye shall forever be downtrodden as a result.

Re:Jealousy (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43071499)

So what you are saying is that you are an un-motivated slacker?

Re:Jealousy (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43071581)

I have no problems with founding entrepreneurs like Jobs and Zuckerberg making billions (Gates, a bit different because a lot of his wealth was directly tied to the way he flouted the antitrust laws in the '90s). And I'm not especially jealous of rich old men hanging around yacht clubs dousing themselves with single malt. But 8-digit compensation for CEOs of Fortune 500 companies is now routine, and I think this affects the way those companies are run. Exhibit A: the housing bubble and financial meltdown 2002-2008. Notice that it occurred during a Republican administration, after the POTUS cut tax rates for the wealthy and weakened oversight of antitrust and capital markets. Exhibit B: the obsession on quarterly earnings by companies and their boards, that causes companies to sacrifice innovation and responsibility to their workforce and the environment in the name of the shareholders.

Re:Jealousy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43071599)

No, the problem with executive compensation is one of incentives. If executives gets lots of money even when the company does poorly, they have no incentive to ensure the company does well, resulting in a lot of the poor leadership we see in big companies.

Re:Jealousy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43071723)

So what you're saying is that you're perfectly fine with the vast, vast, vast majority of society earning barely enough to live on, or quite often less than that, while a select few at the top make more than a thousand of us combined will ever see as gross income in our entire lives?

Why yes, that does seem reasonable.

Re:Jealousy (5, Insightful)

macbeth66 (204889) | about a year ago | (#43071881)

As a shareholder of a given company, I have, or should have, the right to squeeze you by the balls as I take the money BACK out of your pocket and return it to the us, the owners of the company.

And I could give a rat's ass about moral superiority. You go do whatever your little heart desires, but keep your hands off of my money.

Re:Good (-1, Troll)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | about a year ago | (#43071255)

If you don't like the government controlling every aspect of your life, don't cheer when a government controls yet another aspect of someone's life.

Leftism boils democracy down to "two wolves and one lamb" voting on dinner.

Stop cheering for communism. It sounds fun at first... with all the "big X" and "fat cat" talk, maybe a few Che posters and an occupy rally.... but eventually you end up in a gulag.

Re:Good (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43071371)

It isn't the government controlling anything. It gives legal backing to the shareholders.You know, the ones that OWN THE COMPANY. Essentially this is giving more power via property rights and prohibiting the fleecing of wealth by deadweight managers.

If you do not understand why this is good both for society and the individual by reducing the damage done by incompetents, guess what camp you are rallying for.

Re:Good (1, Insightful)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | about a year ago | (#43071411)

Gee, if only there were a way shareholders could take executive compensation into account when they buy and sell shares.

Re:Good (5, Interesting)

RazzleFrog (537054) | about a year ago | (#43071429)

You should probably look up the difference between Communism and Socialism before you post. Not to mention this isn't really Socialism. That would be equal sharing - not just reigning in the disparity between the top 1% and the other 99%.

You should watch http://www.upworthy.com/9-out-of-10-americans-are-completely-wrong-about-this-mind-blowing-fact-2/ [upworthy.com]

Re:Good (1, Insightful)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | about a year ago | (#43071663)

Two parties have a deal.

That deal is THEIR property.

A government deciding it has the right to control the deal is a government deciding that there IS no property. Using that metric, all property belongs to the community.

Pro sports players make too much money. Most people agree on that. But the athletes have a boss who makes payroll... and it is up to the boss and the athlete to negotiate a deal, no one else's business. If the team can make 10 million and 1 dollars per year from the athlete, the team can afford (figuratively) to pay the athlete up to 10 million, pocket the left-over dollar and still come out ahead. It's not up to whiney leftists to declare what "fair" pay is or isn't. It's not up to politicians, pandering to the whiney leftists for votes, to declare what "fair" is.

It's funny to hear people say "equal" with respect to socialism. Ideas so good, they have to be mandatory and enforced by people with guns.

Re:Good (5, Insightful)

RazzleFrog (537054) | about a year ago | (#43071863)

A) The government is not controlling anything in this case. it is just saying that shareholders be allowed to veto big raises and golden parachutes for outgoing failed executives.

B) The government in the US has lots of rules that may not "control" a deal but that do make sure things are handled in a way that is fair to the shareholders and to the public. For example, if all the makers of widgets got together and said - hey let's raise all of our prices by 100% - then that would be price collusion/fixing and illegal.

C) Just because the government has rules for deals doesn't mean it invalidates property and creates communism. I am not even sure how you made that creative leap.

D) Pro sports players aren't even in the ballpark (excuse the pun) of the folks we are talking about. They are high profile and get a lot of attention but the "1%" is worth 1000 times most athletes.

E) Socialism enforced by people with guns? First. There is no completely socialist country in the world. There are many that come close. Some, like Canada, are more socialistic than the US and I don't see them using guns up there to enforce it.

Re:Good (1)

Mitreya (579078) | about a year ago | (#43071257)

They claim it offsets the high risks, but then they walk away with millions when it all goes wrong.

Don't underestimate the risk of having to walk away with a $5M golden parachute and look for another job while your peers are making $10M-$20M at the same time.

Maybe the law should state that you get absolutely nothing if the company tanks. Then we'll know that high salaries are given for performance.

Re:Good (5, Interesting)

blahplusplus (757119) | about a year ago | (#43071353)

"The job doesn't justify the salary."

Most people don't understand it's a matter of customer base (population size) and where you are in history, such salaries would be impossible in smaller societies. These exorbitant sums of money are artifacts of scale and historically large customer bases by which executives can exploit given their privileged position in society and history.

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43071547)

There's no reason that the board of directors or shareholders of any company on the planet couldn't already do this. They just don't. Read about a CEO leaving a burning company with a huge golden parachute and you have a company with a BoD that's doing a lousy job.

Re:Good (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43071693)

So... almost every American company then? Sure doesn't look good for us Americans. I fully support Switzerland's decision, and listlessly await the day us Americans stop worshipping our own oppressors.

Before people scream socialism (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43070845)

Before people scream socialism, this rule is to make shareholders vote on the executive pay of the company they own shares in, not government bureaucrats. This is to protect shareholders from greedy upper management.

Re:Before people scream socialism (0)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#43070885)

Shareholders already vote for the boards which set 3 letter jobs pay scales.

I'm guessing that 'preferred stock' gets a vote now.

In any case watch out for unintended consequences.

Re:Before people scream socialism (5, Insightful)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#43070973)

In any case watch out for unintended consequences.

You mean, like a robust economy that's not dependent on these people?

Re:Before people scream socialism (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#43071051)

Those are clearly the 'intended' consequences. Doubt that will happen.

More likely. Companies de-listing or moving their headquarters to avoid this step.

Re:Before people scream socialism (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43071155)

Bye bye parasites!

Re:Before people scream socialism (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43071247)

Bye bye, high paying professional jobs only provided in corporate headquarters!
And bye bye, income tax paid by all these professionals!

Re:Before people scream socialism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43071571)

Bye bye, high paying professional jobs only provided in corporate headquarters!
And bye bye, income tax paid by all these professionals!

Yes, because that's the only place high paying professional jobs exist; in the corporate headquarters of publicly traded companies, and nowhere else.

Re:Before people scream socialism (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43071321)

More likely.

More likely nothing will change. The angry business haters that are so happy about this don't actually own many shares directly. The shares are owned by mutual funds, insurance companies, pension systems, university endowments and other institutions. These shareholders aren't going to punish the people that manage the businesses they're invested in.

These shareholders will have a bit more leverage over managers. Management will still get their bonuses most of the time. The angry little business haters will go right on being angry never understanding *why* things are the way they are.

Re:Before people scream socialism (4, Insightful)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about a year ago | (#43071395)

Which is why the Boards of Directors and all the three letter jobs should be held accountable when a company defrauds the shareholders and public.

Re:Before people scream socialism (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | about a year ago | (#43071605)

If the company commits fraud then the "C" level people most assuredly can be held accountable and go to jail. It's what happened with Enron.

Not so much the Board, though, since they typically wouldn't be involved with the day to day operations of a company.

Re:Before people scream socialism (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43070907)

No one has screamed socialism.
 
  A fire eater must eat fire even if he has to kindle it himself -Isaac Asimov

Re:Before people scream socialism (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year ago | (#43071061)

Indeed. I always thought Switzerland was the model that at least some Libertarians dream of.

Re:Before people scream socialism (-1, Offtopic)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#43071147)

Those would be Hong Kong and Singapore.

Switzerland has fucking hygene inspectors that have to OK your moving out of any apartment or house for fucks sake. Sink not clean enough to use as an operating room? You must stay and clean.

We kind of like their gun control policy, not perfect but the best Europe has to offer by far.

Re:Before people scream socialism (5, Insightful)

Pascal Sartoretti (454385) | about a year ago | (#43071267)

Switzerland has fucking hygene inspectors that have to OK your moving out of any apartment or house for fucks sake. Sink not clean enough to use as an operating room? You must stay and clean.

Bullshit. When you move out, your landlord checks that the apartment or house is clean, that's all. If not, they will retain a certain amount on your 3 month deposit.

Re:Before people scream socialism (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#43071403)

Would that be the same Singapore that has caning punishments, no freedom of assembly and draconian anti-littering laws? Aren't libertarians supposed to be socially liberal?

Re:Before people scream socialism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43071205)

Correct, hence "Before anyone screams socialism" (emphasis mine)

Re:Before people scream socialism (1)

sycodon (149926) | about a year ago | (#43070933)

If anything, they should be screaming, Direct Democracy.

Re:Before people scream socialism (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year ago | (#43071139)

Yeah, what's the "referendum" thing, and how did they ever get one on corporate wages/bonuses? Do Swiss pigs fly?

Re:Before people scream socialism (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43071337)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Referendum#Switzerland

Basically, somebody gets support for some legislative change by collecting signatures. If sufficient signatures are collected, there will be a popular vote on it. Pretty neat, eh?

Re:Before people scream socialism (1)

Khashishi (775369) | about a year ago | (#43071637)

They're all rotten. The management is looking for the most acceptable way to embezzle the shit out of the company. The shareholders just want to just put their money somewhere where it will automatically increase without any work on their part, and so they are at odds with the management. It doesn't really matter who wins, since it's messed up either way.

it's not even really a curb (5, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | about a year ago | (#43070853)

It provides a mechanism by which shareholders can set a pay limit for executives, and veto large pay packages which they don't think are in their interests. Since shareholders nominally "own" the company, I'm not sure why that would be particularly controversial, except that companies have been to some extent captured by their management.

There is nothing here that prevents high corporate pay if the owners of the company feel it's justified.

Re:it's not even really a curb (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43071031)

and will the shareholders feel the high pay is justified?

Of course! Otherwise they would have sold their shares a long time ago and invested in a more profitable company. This is why this initiative won't change anything. Because shareholders always had ultimate power since they are the giving credit to the company. If they didn't use this strongest possible weapon, what good is it to give them the much weaker weapon of a veto?

Re:it's not even really a curb (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43071181)

Sometimes having a variety of "weapon strengths" can encourage a result closer to the middle of a dispute, rather than at one extreme or the other. It helps to have weapons that aren't nuclear.

Re:it's not even really a curb (1)

Antipater (2053064) | about a year ago | (#43071311)

Are you sure [nytimes.com] about that?

Re:it's not even really a curb (4, Insightful)

Trailer Trash (60756) | about a year ago | (#43071443)

Technically, the shareholders *should* be able to do this already through the Board. I think the problem in the US is that few people invest in companies directly nowadays - instead they invest in mutual funds which in turn own companies.

I always suggest that people who work in publicly traded companies own stock and show up at annual meetings when possible. The problem is that for the normal worker they can't buy stock at the same pace that it's being given to the executives. My wife's former company was terrible about that - execs and even divisional managers were being given thousands of shares each year, either outright or as options that allowed them to buy the stock at a low price and sell it immediately at a much higher price, with the risk totally eliminated by the fact that they had no requirement to buy in the first place.

We really need to get back to free market principles here, instead of this crazy system where executives rape companies and get huge bonuses or parting gifts.

Meh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43070859)

Shareholders vote on their board all the time here. And depending on what you've done, if you knowingly break the law, the corporate veil of liability doesn't protect you.

I guess we're more progressive than Switzerland.

Re:Meh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43071775)

Yes indeed, except for the countless examples where this explicitly doesn't happen and criminal activities are rewarded with multi-million dollar rewards as exemplified by nearly every major corporate failure in recent memory. Americans REALLY DO have goldfish memory.

Next week's headline: Swiss mass exodous (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43070871)

I'm thinking back to a recent news story about executives leaving France en masse because of tax hikes on the wealthy there. It certainly would not surprise me to see something similar happening if this passes.

Re:Next week's headline: Swiss mass exodous (3, Informative)

sxpert (139117) | about a year ago | (#43070903)

"this" has already passed. according to swiss constitution, a text that was validated in such a referendum MUST be written into law. guess the swiss will be able to get rid of those parasites...

Re:Next week's headline: Swiss mass exodous (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43071263)

Leaving Switzerland because of this law is like running away from your parents because they only bought you a V6 Mustang instead of a V8.

Re:Next week's headline: Swiss mass exodous (2)

VAXcat (674775) | about a year ago | (#43071659)

Then you are saying this would be entirely justified then, because friends don't let friends drive Fords.

Re:Next week's headline: Swiss mass exodous (4, Funny)

nbauman (624611) | about a year ago | (#43071589)

Then there's the part in Atlas Shrugged where all the creators leave the moochers behind and go off to Gault Gulch and live off their perpetual motion machines.

Just guess (-1, Offtopic)

no-body (127863) | about a year ago | (#43070895)

Who else is not worth the money being paid.. M$ BG comes to mind...

Re:Just guess (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#43070955)

Moron.

You also come to mind. McDonald's is overpaying you. Hint: Gates left MS many years ago.

Re:Just guess (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#43071057)

Hey, hey, cut the guy some slack!

OP probably wanted to call out Balmer, and would have, if not for the fact he's still nursing a head wound from the last round of flying chairs.

Re:Just guess (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#43071185)

He's just being an unsuccessful karma troll.

Re:Just guess (1)

no-body (127863) | about a year ago | (#43071303)

Hehehe - you fell for it, just trolling for a change and it's snowing outside - whether forecast is 100 % off for a change.

But seriously, how many people need to work to pay a $alpha_male_manipulator | $psychopath

Re:Just guess (1)

Trailer Trash (60756) | about a year ago | (#43071459)

Gates also FOUNDED the company. There's a world of difference between him and someone brought in after it's already built.

Re:Just guess (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43070997)

For sure. M$ is for faggots. I only use, run, own, and recommend linux on all my pc boxen. I give linux to my 1 month old, and she installs it no problem. She even wrote a program that says "hello world". I gave windows 7 46 bit to my nephew and he's 2 months old. It blew up in his face and severed his penis.

linux up! M$ down!

Re:Just guess (2)

colinrichardday (768814) | about a year ago | (#43071437)

Yeah, that 46-bit version is unstable.

You'd never do this in America ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43070979)

This would never fly in America, boards of directors seem too convinced it's their right to take huge pay while the company is losing money ... and they give themselves millions more when they're being ousted.

Most C level/board level pay packages look like theft from shareholders, and it's the board that votes themselves these levels of compensation.

Republicans must be already talking about regime change -- can't have someone not looking out for executive bonuses. That idea could catch on.

Re:You'd never do this in America ... (1)

gfxguy (98788) | about a year ago | (#43071381)

I disagree - it depends on how the case is made. For years the boards of these companies claimed they did what they did "for the shareholders." Layoff people to make the bottom line look better, despite being in the black and growing? It was for the shareholders, who might sue us if we don't make them enough money. Move production to China? It was for the shareholders, who might sue us if we don't make them enough money. Cut pension plans? It was for the shareholders!

So it could fly, it just need to be presented the right way. Of course, I feel that about a lot of legislation.

Bring that over to the U.S.A. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43070985)

Please remember to wear your bullet-proof/bomb-proof vest during delivery, as many of our executives will be wailing and gnashing their teeth...

Bonkers "perceived disasters" (1)

sugarmotor (621907) | about a year ago | (#43071013)

BBC gone bonkers? "Support for the plans - brain child of Swiss businessman turned politician Thomas Minder - has been fuelled by a series of perceived disasters for major Swiss companies, coupled with salaries and bonuses staying high"

Disasters, or only perceived disasters?

Anti-capitalist is anti-freedom (-1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | about a year ago | (#43071041)

There are better ways to deal with CEO scarcity than to enact salary caps. They could have made special visas to allow foreign CEOs to work in the country, and the resulting competition would have had the same effect without going all socialist and stuff.

Re:Anti-capitalist is anti-freedom (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43071091)

Not making yourselves beholden to the capitalists is neither anti-freedom nor socialist.

Allowing CEOs and other board members to give themselves huge salaries and payouts is.

It's only America who irrationally believes "profit at any cost" is a good diea.

Fuck you.

Re:Anti-capitalist is anti-freedom (1)

Desler (1608317) | about a year ago | (#43071189)

They didn't enact salary caps. This is just allowing shareholders to veto the BoD from giving itself pay raises and bonuses. Couldn't even be bothered to read the summary before writing a spittle-filled rant?

Re:Anti-capitalist is anti-freedom (2, Interesting)

Ironhandx (1762146) | about a year ago | (#43071221)

No. No it wouldn't have.

CEOs are scarce because you need to have experience being a CEO in order to get hired as a CEO. This means working your way up through another department usually, or VP/COO jobs or some such at the very least. Usually this means the person is really good at ass kissing, and probably good at picking someone else to do his work for him. Alternately you're just related to someone that is or used to be really important. Hell that one can take you all the way to the oval office.

Unfortunately this system has progressed right down to middle management in most corporations and the majority of the CEO stock that didn't build a company from the ground up on their own are pretty much completely fucking useless. That particular pool of people is internationally extremely thin.

Making it less desirable to bullshit your way through a corporation may see some of the folks that have a brain becoming entrepreneurs themselves in order to earn that massive payout by building their own company. There is a lot of talent going to waste in middle management and lower positions in the form of people smarter than their bosses that won't get promoted purely because of that.

I can only see this as a good thing to promote competition and to promote more decentralized businesses and less "too-big-to-fail" corporations/banks.

This isn't even terrible socialist. A true socialist country would just enact a tax on the bonus that takes 75%+ of every dollar above x amount then throw it into public works projects etc....

Oh wait, that sounds familiar... where did that happen again?

Oh, right. In one of the biggest and best economic turnarounds in history right after the great depression, in the United States of America.

Re:Anti-capitalist is anti-freedom (1)

Desler (1608317) | about a year ago | (#43071253)

How is it even remotely socialist? It gives the shareholders more power in deciding how much is paid to the people running the company they own.

Re:Anti-capitalist is anti-freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43071525)

Uhm... I'm pretty sure that taxing the crap out of the rich, spending money on public works that went on to provide decades of benefit, busting up monopolies, and enacting financial regs(glass-steagell) was what pulled us out of the great depression. So quit whining about "socialism".

Re:Anti-capitalist is anti-freedom (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43071617)

Uhm... I'm pretty sure that taxing the crap out of the rich, spending money on public works that went on to provide decades of benefit, busting up monopolies, and enacting financial regs(glass-steagell) was what pulled us out of the great depression.

Holy shitballs, I have never seen as much misinformation presented authoritatively anyhwere else in my life. Read a history book. You're believing what you think, as opposed to what actually happened.

Re:Anti-capitalist is anti-freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43071861)

Completely agreed. If you are a CEO and need a new mansion in Monaco, privatize your company and assume responsibility for your own actions. Public companies have no business being held hostage by sociopaths.

Re:Anti-capitalist is anti-freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43071231)

I have yet to see a true capitalist ideal in progress, but the point of this is to really take the "bonuses" away from the top officers and to get them to give that money to the working employees by investing back into the company. The middle and lower class need the funds more than those milking the company dry do.

The biggest issue I see though is that wouldn't the board and other officers have the majority of stock? This is like Congress voting on wither or not to increase their salary. They shouldn't have control in a more fair system. The issue comparing companies to governments is that governments are representative of the people (their customers) and companies should be representative of those that own them. The same controls wouldn't work. Companies are free to kill themselves off, while governments are not allowed to do that.

Re:Anti-capitalist is anti-freedom (3, Insightful)

Worthless_Comments (987427) | about a year ago | (#43071479)

The people are not customers of the government. The People own the government, because the People are the government.

Re:Anti-capitalist is anti-freedom (4, Informative)

golden age villain (1607173) | about a year ago | (#43071243)

There is already no shortage of foreign CEOs in Swiss companies. The proportion of foreigners working in the country in high-paid jobs is really high.

As for perceived disasters, I don't know where they got that idea as the Swiss economy is thriving compared to the rest of the western world right now. The last catastrophe was the bankruptcy of Swissair and that was back in 2002. Plus the company was immediately reborn as a new airline (Swiss) with very little disruption of operations. Banks have had a hard time but I don't think that this is registered in the mind of people as being a problem coming from board members. If anything ticked the balance towards a yes to this initiative, that was Daniel Vasela, ex-CEO of Novartis, receiving a 72M CHF (about 76M USD) severance package as he left the company a mere two weeks before the vote (he later declined it).

Re:Anti-capitalist is anti-freedom (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43071567)

If the swiss economy is doing well, it's probably BECAUSE of decent regulations like this. We have a financial corruption and theft problem. A lot of things would be better if we hadn't deregulated in the US.

Re:Anti-capitalist is anti-freedom (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43071315)

You can give all visa you want but it is an old boys club in which you can only become a CEO if you screwed up another company.

It would be an interesting experiment is to secretly replace CEO of the large company that gets multimillion dollar compensation with a random employee of that company with a promise to keep him as a CEO if he is going to do a good job and see if there is any statistically significant change in the company performance.

I am pretty sure that there is going to be no difference whatsoever. In fact, a lot of the employees would deliver much better results.

Re:Anti-capitalist is anti-freedom (4, Informative)

blahplusplus (757119) | about a year ago | (#43071425)

What a bunch of bullshit. Perhaps if you knew anything about the wealth distribution in america you'd know otherwise.

The top bar is the ACTUAL distribution of wealth in america. Notice the next 40 getting a tiny bit and the bottom 40% getting next to nothing, so small is what they are paid they don't even register. This is real time slavery via the wage system.

http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/images/wealth/Actual_estimated_ideal_wealth_distribution.gif [ucsc.edu]

http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html [ucsc.edu]

Shocking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43071073)

The majority of people think no one else should make more money than them. Film at 11.

The US desperately needs this... (3, Insightful)

rs1n (1867908) | about a year ago | (#43071165)

...not just for corporations but also for the folks in Congress. While the former may theoretically happen, I do not see any Congressman voting for any measure that would limit his pay.

Re:The US desperately needs this... (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year ago | (#43071509)

I do not see any Congressman voting for any measure that would limit his pay.

Congress cannot make any decisions about the pay of the current Congress, thanks to the 27th Amendment [wikipedia.org] . That includes giving themselves a pay cut. The way the public punishes Congress for giving themselves a raise is to vote them out of office.

Re:The US desperately needs this... (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#43071529)

Congressman, no. On the other hand [senate.gov] ... there appears to be one person to keep around for a while.

If only.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43071167)

We could get laws like that int he U.S...

If it's the same as in the US. (3, Interesting)

MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) | about a year ago | (#43071179)

The shareholders exhibit very little power over the board because the board has manipulated the rules. Hope this gives the shareholders more direct control over people who are proving themselves incompetent.

Re:If it's the same as in the US. (1)

VAXcat (674775) | about a year ago | (#43071669)

I forget who said this quote, but it's pretty apropos - "In a company, those who manage the money usually manage to hang on to most of it".

Follow the swiss (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43071281)

The Swiss, leading the world one referendum at a time.

The US needs this too. It should work like this. (2)

Animats (122034) | about a year ago | (#43071463)

This has been discussed in the US, but, as in Switzerland, as a "veto" by shareholders. Shareholders should determine CEO compensation. The US SEC tracks the total compensation of the top 5 employees of publicly held companies, and those should be the ones the shareholders set salaries for.

The highest paid person in the company should have a total compensation set by a shareholder vote. Each shareholder puts in a number, and the share-weighted median is the CEO salary. The CEO can suggest a number, but it's not the default.

Who gets to vote the shares? The party that pays the taxes on them. Funds that are now tax pass-throughs would have to pass through voting rights to avoid being taxed. No taxation without representation.

For funds with a big portfolio, the shareholders can pick a compensation number for the whole fund, and the fund managers can set the compensation for each CEO. But the total can't exceed the shareholder-chosen value.

Now that's shareholder empowerment.

Obsession with CEOs is cargo-cultism (5, Interesting)

runeghost (2509522) | about a year ago | (#43071467)

The vast majority of high-priced C-level hiring seems to be an exercise in some sort of magical thinking. Corporations see a success, and make a superficial attempt to imitate it. Throwing millions of dollars at one (or a handful) of executives is much easier than trying to understand their own internal dynamics.

"Steve Jobs turned Apple around, so what we need to do to make billions is find and hire the next Steve Jobs!" All while completely ignoring what Jobs actually did, leading to a situation where they'll pay millions for whichever executive wore more black turtlenecks over the last five years.

It's Cargo Cultism. Nice to see that the Swiss are taking a step away from it.

As a voter from the US (4, Funny)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about a year ago | (#43071481)

I support this move by Switzerland and vow to buy only Swiss cheese from here on out.

Re:As a voter from the US (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43071577)

There are holes in your plan.

Re:As a voter from the US (1)

lloydchristmas759 (1105487) | about a year ago | (#43071645)

Bad idea! So called "Swiss cheese" here in the US has nothing Swiss but its name and is usually a disgusting, tasteless byproduct of milk. Try Swiss made cheeses, like Gruyère or Emmental, which are pretty good.

Re:As a voter from the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43071747)

How can cheese be tasteless and at the same time disgusting? Are you saying the texture is bad?

And Glocks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43071811)

After all, Switzerland is the home of the Cuckoo Glock.

Damn dirty communists... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43071609)

How dare they, the Swiss, they are all communists.
So when is the US going to liberate them ?

Am I the only one who thinks this is a bad idea? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43071683)

Mind you: control by shareholders is better than no control at all, but a company driven by just "shareholder value" must evolve to one of those soulless monsters we all know and love, right?

I don't really know how, but there must be some balance. Shareholders can't be all.

Corporatists Exposed (1)

Sterculius (2856655) | about a year ago | (#43071709)

It makes me laugh how the indoctrinated Corporatists think that Free Market Capitalism means that corporations and corporate executives answer to no one, not even the shareholders who actually own the corporation.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...