25 November 2013


Here are the historical US numbers through the years
The proposed regulations on CEO pay were defeated by referendum:
Swiss voters rejected a proposal to limit executives’ pay to 12 times that of junior employees yesterday, a measure that would have gone further than any other developed nation.

The measure was opposed by 65 percent of voters, the government in Bern said yesterday. Polls, including one by consulting firm gfs.bern, had signaled that outcome as probable. Voter turnout was 53 percent, the highest in three years.

“It’s a big relief,” Valentin Vogt, president of the Swiss Employers’ Association, said in an interview on Swiss national television SRF. “It’s a signal that it’s not up to the state to have a say in pay.”

Switzerland is the home to at least five of Europe’s 20 best-paid chief executive officers. Opposition to excessive pay has stiffened among the traditionally pro-business Swiss following the government bailout of UBS AG (UBSN), Switzerland’s biggest bank, in 2008 and a plan -- later scrapped -- by Novartis AG (NOVN) to pay outgoing Chairman Daniel Vasella as much as $78 million.

In March, Swiss voters approved the so-called fat-cat initiative that gave company shareholders a binding vote on managers’ pay and blocked golden handshakes and severance packages.
The problem here is that you need to get a foot in the door.

If they you had made it 100x, or 500x, it probably have won, but 12x seems to be too restrictive, even to a rabid liberal like me.

After all, depending on how you count, the ratio of the average worker to a CEO was between 18.3-20.1:1, so the ratio to lowest paid was probably in the range of 40:1. 

Note that the $78 million parachute divided by 100 is still more than $¾ million, so the most extreme examples would be shut down, and we would stop seeing the CEO dick swinging over obscene pay packages.


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