CEO salaries, corporate power and employees

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Re: CEO salaries, corporate power and employees

Postby Neoteny on Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:21 pm

I feel like if thegreekdog was on CC less, he wouldn't have to work so many hours a week.
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Re: CEO salaries, corporate power and employees

Postby BigBallinStalin on Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:42 pm

PLAYER57832 wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:Player, let's assume that "a living wage" is known and certain. So, if all employees were paid a living wage, would the different prices of different corporate executives become irrelevant?


Actually, a living wage IS pretty well known. Its the cost of obtaining a decent house or apartment (decent = reasonably safe), utilities, food for x people (2 1 adult + one child or even just one adult) basic clothing (goodwill is fine) and healthcare.

roughly that would be, in most areas $500 + $200 + $400 + $30 a month. That is 1230 take home, though when I went over the figures in response to Nightstrike's "average welfare recipient gets...", the total was much higher, becuase I am going on lowball averages not skewed by places like San Francisco, etc.

Along those lines, place that have very high costs of living, such as CA bay area need to provide themselves (not depend on the rest of us) truly affordable housing or set much higher minimum wages themselves. It not up to us to supply their lifestyle. They choose to live in those areas and get the benefits and should be paying for it.


Yes, it would be irrelevant, as long as other "externalities" are not ignored. One reason our debt is so high is that we so often wind up paying for indirect and even some direct costs, be it clean up of pollution, damages for dangerous products (in both cases, too often the guilty companies are long gone before damages can be paid) or more indirect costs like the need to have an educated workforce , a stable and efficient transportation system and just plain basic stability. (folks shooting each other on Main Street don't make for good business of any type).

BUT, all of that is tied together. Its about responsibility.


Uhh... okay, I'll ask again:

So, if all employees were paid a living wage, would the different prices of different corporate executives become irrelevant?
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Re: CEO salaries, corporate power and employees

Postby BigBallinStalin on Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:43 pm

Army of GOD wrote:what in the good hell is going on in this thread?


PLlayer's getting frustrated again.
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Re: CEO salaries, corporate power and employees

Postby beezer on Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:54 pm

If we could get a dime for every time Player has argued this matter, it would indeed be enough to pay everyone a livable wage.
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Re: CEO salaries, corporate power and employees

Postby stahrgazer on Sat Jan 26, 2013 10:28 pm

BigBallinStalin wrote:Uhh... okay, I'll ask again:

So, if all employees were paid a living wage, would the different prices of different corporate executives become irrelevant?


Not unless you also quantify how many employees the CEO employs vs. the unemployment rate.

I mean, companies have already done massive layoffs while those remaining got some wage increases (although most of those increases went to higher-ups, not the peons stuck doing double and triple jobs)... so that our country was stuck with a much higher unemployment rate than we used to have while those execs got exponential increases.

So, just raising the salaries of those "currently employed" to a living wage wouldn't cut it ethically or, for our country, financially.
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Re: CEO salaries, corporate power and employees

Postby stahrgazer on Sat Jan 26, 2013 10:39 pm

thegreekdog wrote:Response to Player: First, shareholder and corporate officer profits are, for the most part, tied to the company's profits. Shareholders don't get dividends or an increase in the value of stock unless the company does well. Corporate officers don't get stock benefits (the vast majority of their compensation) unless the company does well. I can't speak to accounting gimmicks, but most people will tell you that inflated corporate profits are no longer an issue after Sarbanes-Oxley and Enron.


They may say that, but it's not really true.

The financial houses found new ways to inflate their profits, and that led to the current economic collapse.

How does it involve companies outside of mortagers? They bought the stocks, the Collateralized Debt Obligation packages that went onto the stock market, packages of high-risk loans that got combined with lower-risk loans into a package that went onto the markets as lower-risk, sold, resold, sold again, Mortgage backed Securities - backed by Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac. That buying/selling which was done outside of legalities (legalities being, someone was supposed to, by law, retain sufficient funds in their bank accounts just in case those debts went default) and the resultant cash paid as bonuses and dividends to the companies involved. NO ONE kept back the funds they were supposed to keep back, which is why when the debts did start going default, the country pretty much went bust... all that money had gotten paid out as additional salaries, bonuses, and stockholder dividends.

In other words, they found another accounting gimmick, exploited that one, too, and who got stuck holding the bag? Again, the taxpayers. Even without the bailouts, the little folk have suffered the most... and WITH the bailouts, that money was frequently used for more salaries, bonuses, and stockholder dividends.

For most of the guys at the top, they created themselves a win-win-win scenario because they had the power to do it.

It's just another example of corporate abuse of power, accounting gimmicks, and f*ck the peons.

The point here is, for LIFE "the company does well," has a different meaning if the reason "profit" is high is that tbey cut expenses because they laid off half the workforce, than "the company does well" by keeping employees and increasing revenues. But for "accounting" purposes, it's the same thing, the CEO gets his bonuses, the stockholders get their dividends, the peons get the shaft.. that's the gimmick, that's the immorality, and that's what's caused our financial messes.
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Re: CEO salaries, corporate power and employees

Postby PLAYER57832 on Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:27 am

BigBallinStalin wrote:
So, if all employees were paid a living wage, would the different prices of different corporate executives become irrelevant?

Yes, as long as the company is still profitable. A unprofitable company will fail, so by definition, that matters.

But as stargazer indicated, the profits must be real and true, not simply gimmicks using government funding or accounting "tricks (moving debt from one entity to another without really paying it off, for example). Also, profit must be long term, not just a matter of months or a single year. Its too easy for companies in today's world to hide real debt and pretend profits when none really exist.
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Re: CEO salaries, corporate power and employees

Postby Timminz on Sun Jan 27, 2013 12:16 pm

PLAYER57832 wrote:accounting "tricks (moving debt from one entity to another without really paying it off, for example).


What do you mean by this example? Are you referring to the things that Enron did, which are now completely illegal and for which top executives are now held personally liable, due to the Sarbanes-Oxley act?
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Re: CEO salaries, corporate power and employees

Postby Symmetry on Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:18 pm

Timminz wrote:
PLAYER57832 wrote:accounting "tricks (moving debt from one entity to another without really paying it off, for example).


What do you mean by this example? Are you referring to the things that Enron did, which are now completely illegal and for which top executives are now held personally liable, due to the Sarbanes-Oxley act?


I think you're going to have to explain your interpretation and argument on this one Timminz.
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Re: CEO salaries, corporate power and employees

Postby Timminz on Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:51 pm

Symmetry wrote:
Timminz wrote:
PLAYER57832 wrote:accounting "tricks (moving debt from one entity to another without really paying it off, for example).


What do you mean by this example? Are you referring to the things that Enron did, which are now completely illegal and for which top executives are now held personally liable, due to the Sarbanes-Oxley act?


I think you're going to have to explain your interpretation and argument on this one Timminz.


My interpretation is that Player doesn't fully understand these supposed "accounting tricks" and the laws regarding them, but I want to give her the chance to clarify her example, rather than just assuming.

Enron were using methods of hiding debt in subsidiary companies, thus inflating the company's perceived value (which is the practice I assume Player was referring to). Shortly following Enron's collapse (as well as a few other huge accounting scandals, like Worldcom), the US passed the Sarbanes-Oxley act which, among other things, requires full consolidation of subsidiary companies (to prevent exactly what Enron had done) and requires that the top executives of public companies sign off personally on the financial statements, meaning they are now personally liable for any fraudulent financial statements, thus removing their ability to hide behind a limited liability corporation when the shit hits the fan.
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Re: CEO salaries, corporate power and employees

Postby BigBallinStalin on Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:54 am

PLAYER57832 wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:
So, if all employees were paid a living wage, would the different prices of different corporate executives become irrelevant?

Yes, as long as the company is still profitable. A unprofitable company will fail, so by definition, that matters.

But as stargazer indicated, the profits must be real and true, not simply gimmicks using government funding or accounting "tricks (moving debt from one entity to another without really paying it off, for example). Also, profit must be long term, not just a matter of months or a single year. Its too easy for companies in today's world to hide real debt and pretend profits when none really exist.


If profit must be long-term, then does this mean that during the onset of the automobile, all horse-and-buggy producers should have had long-term profits?
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Re: CEO salaries, corporate power and employees

Postby caonima on Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:02 am

'and try finding day care for 65 hours. Also, consider what life is like when you wind up working 65 hours, not just on occasion and not with the benefit of coming home to a nice fancy house, money to eat out and go on vacations, but with about the only entertainment you can afford is TV.'

1 - if your children are young enough to need 65 hours of day care, they are preschool. this means that you fairly recently made the poor decision of having children that you are unable to provide care for. this is, however, your responsibility and not your CEO's

2 - i think TGD said he works 65 hours a week, not just 'on occasion'. many people really do work very long weeks, and that is not disproven by the fact that you're putting the keys into your car door every friday at 5:01pm

3 - you assume that having a large house, eating in restaurants and going on vacations (what's that, like 2 weeks a year?) somehow leave people far more content than bumming around and watching tv. a bag of weed can help you find hours of fun in a rock with googly eyes glued on. it's your own fault you're so shallow and materialistic.
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Re: CEO salaries, corporate power and employees

Postby thegreekdog on Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:18 pm

stahrgazer wrote:The financial houses found new ways to inflate their profits, and that led to the current economic collapse.

How does it involve companies outside of mortagers? They bought the stocks, the Collateralized Debt Obligation packages that went onto the stock market, packages of high-risk loans that got combined with lower-risk loans into a package that went onto the markets as lower-risk, sold, resold, sold again, Mortgage backed Securities - backed by Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac. That buying/selling which was done outside of legalities (legalities being, someone was supposed to, by law, retain sufficient funds in their bank accounts just in case those debts went default) and the resultant cash paid as bonuses and dividends to the companies involved. NO ONE kept back the funds they were supposed to keep back, which is why when the debts did start going default, the country pretty much went bust... all that money had gotten paid out as additional salaries, bonuses, and stockholder dividends.

In other words, they found another accounting gimmick, exploited that one, too, and who got stuck holding the bag? Again, the taxpayers. Even without the bailouts, the little folk have suffered the most... and WITH the bailouts, that money was frequently used for more salaries, bonuses, and stockholder dividends.

For most of the guys at the top, they created themselves a win-win-win scenario because they had the power to do it.

It's just another example of corporate abuse of power, accounting gimmicks, and f*ck the peons.


I think you're confusing corporate CEOs with financial service providers. They aren't the same thing.

PLAYER57832 wrote:and try finding day care for 65 hours. Also, consider what life is like when you wind up working 65 hours, not just on occasion and not with the benefit of coming home to a nice fancy house, money to eat out and go on vacations, but with about the only entertainment you can afford is TV.


That dollar amount accounts for child care, among other things.

Neoteny wrote:I feel like if thegreekdog was on CC less, he wouldn't have to work so many hours a week.


No shit.
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Re: CEO salaries, corporate power and employees

Postby PLAYER57832 on Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:33 pm

Timminz wrote:
Symmetry wrote:
Timminz wrote:
PLAYER57832 wrote:accounting "tricks (moving debt from one entity to another without really paying it off, for example).


What do you mean by this example? Are you referring to the things that Enron did, which are now completely illegal and for which top executives are now held personally liable, due to the Sarbanes-Oxley act?


I think you're going to have to explain your interpretation and argument on this one Timminz.


My interpretation is that Player doesn't fully understand these supposed "accounting tricks" and the laws regarding them, but I want to give her the chance to clarify her example, rather than just assuming.

Enron were using methods of hiding debt in subsidiary companies, thus inflating the company's perceived value (which is the practice I assume Player was referring to). Shortly following Enron's collapse (as well as a few other huge accounting scandals, like Worldcom), the US passed the Sarbanes-Oxley act which, among other things, requires full consolidation of subsidiary companies (to prevent exactly what Enron had done) and requires that the top executives of public companies sign off personally on the financial statements, meaning they are now personally liable for any fraudulent financial statements, thus removing their ability to hide behind a limited liability corporation when the shit hits the fan.


LOL.. NO ONE fully understands all the accounting tricks. Experts understand some.. and create different games continually.

What I was referring to had nothing to do with Enron. Companies can shift when and where they take profits for tax and other reasons. Greekdog actually gave a decent example some time ago in explaining how international companies pay taxes. He argued it was perfectly reasonable and sensible. A lot of us disagreed.

More directly, there is the whole bit of banks taking bad debt, piling it together into a new named product that suddenly gets great ratings-- mostly because it was not known before.

The point is that you can focus on whatever details.. and they will change almost as soon as they are figured out, folks write new laws, etc, etc. OR you can focus on the bottom line that our system is very unnecessarily complicated and obtuse, because so many people make tons of money in that system.

It even works for a while... but the ultimate truth is that when people are not paid well, they cannot spend well, and that means fewer profits for everyone.
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Re: CEO salaries, corporate power and employees

Postby thegreekdog on Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:00 pm

PLAYER57832 wrote:Companies can shift when and where they take profits for tax and other reasons. Greekdog actually gave a decent example some time ago in explaining how international companies pay taxes. He argued it was perfectly reasonable and sensible. A lot of us disagreed.


Hmm... I'm not sure I said it quite like that.

First, there are tax issues and there are accounting issues. These are separate. Tax issues do affect the shareholders, but really only marginally. They mostly affect governments and relative revenues of said governments. Accounting issues affect shareholders in a much more significant way.

First and a half, the point I think you're referring to is that some US companies pay truckloads of taxes in other jurisdictions because that is where they have the majority or most of their operations. If a US company has five facilities in China and one facility in the US, it's going to pay more Chinese taxes than US taxes. Sorry.

Second (and related to stahrgazer), there is a vast difference between the Enron-type accounting scandals and the bubble-bursting investment company stuff. The investment companies aren't really publicly traded entities that do anything other than investment money. It's difficult for me to make them analogous with operating companies for that reason. Therefore, to impugn CEOs because of the activities of rogue financial institutions is not really appropriate.

Third, and I cannot emphasize this enough, the government-created tax scheme in the United States (and elsewhere) invites planning to pay the least taxes. In other words, these companies are paying the least taxes they are permitted to legally pay. In fact, I believe most companies pay more than they legally are required to pay (which is why people like me have jobs). The question you're asking is not "is it legal for Company X to pay the US taxes it pays?" That is not the appropriate question. The appropriate question is - "Is it moral for Company X to pay the US taxes it pays?" And if you have a problem with that, take it up with your elected representatives, not with the company. I highly doubt you pay more taxes than you are legally obligated to pay.
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Re: CEO salaries, corporate power and employees

Postby caonima on Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:06 pm

Player: there are mysterious accounting tricks that I don't know but that are definitely helping CEOs avoid paying a living wage

Also, ghosts
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Re: CEO salaries, corporate power and employees

Postby Symmetry on Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:28 pm

PLAYER57832 wrote:
Timminz wrote:
Symmetry wrote:
Timminz wrote:
PLAYER57832 wrote:accounting "tricks (moving debt from one entity to another without really paying it off, for example).


What do you mean by this example? Are you referring to the things that Enron did, which are now completely illegal and for which top executives are now held personally liable, due to the Sarbanes-Oxley act?


I think you're going to have to explain your interpretation and argument on this one Timminz.


My interpretation is that Player doesn't fully understand these supposed "accounting tricks" and the laws regarding them, but I want to give her the chance to clarify her example, rather than just assuming.

Enron were using methods of hiding debt in subsidiary companies, thus inflating the company's perceived value (which is the practice I assume Player was referring to). Shortly following Enron's collapse (as well as a few other huge accounting scandals, like Worldcom), the US passed the Sarbanes-Oxley act which, among other things, requires full consolidation of subsidiary companies (to prevent exactly what Enron had done) and requires that the top executives of public companies sign off personally on the financial statements, meaning they are now personally liable for any fraudulent financial statements, thus removing their ability to hide behind a limited liability corporation when the shit hits the fan.


LOL.. NO ONE fully understands all the accounting tricks. Experts understand some.. and create different games continually.

What I was referring to had nothing to do with Enron. Companies can shift when and where they take profits for tax and other reasons. Greekdog actually gave a decent example some time ago in explaining how international companies pay taxes. He argued it was perfectly reasonable and sensible. A lot of us disagreed.

More directly, there is the whole bit of banks taking bad debt, piling it together into a new named product that suddenly gets great ratings-- mostly because it was not known before.

The point is that you can focus on whatever details.. and they will change almost as soon as they are figured out, folks write new laws, etc, etc. OR you can focus on the bottom line that our system is very unnecessarily complicated and obtuse, because so many people make tons of money in that system.

It even works for a while... but the ultimate truth is that when people are not paid well, they cannot spend well, and that means fewer profits for everyone.


Aye, one of the interesting things I read about the Enron case (and I appreciate that this is Timminz' example), was that it was so difficult to pin down, even for the Enron executives. What was presented to the court was (if I remember correctly) a summary of a summary of a summary of what Enron was doing, and that still ran to thousands of pages.
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Re: CEO salaries, corporate power and employees

Postby Timminz on Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:35 pm

Never in my life before this have I seen, "LOL I have no idea what I'm talking about", act as an effective argument. Somehow, it works here though.


I'm done. Player wins.
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Re: CEO salaries, corporate power and employees

Postby BigBallinStalin on Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:44 pm

Timminz wrote:Never in my life before this have I seen, "LOL I have no idea what I'm talking about", act as an effective argument. Somehow, it works here though.


I'm done. Player wins.



You gotta go one question at a time over several weeks. It's slow, but eventually you can stump her.
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Re: CEO salaries, corporate power and employees

Postby Symmetry on Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:47 pm

BigBallinStalin wrote:
Timminz wrote:Never in my life before this have I seen, "LOL I have no idea what I'm talking about", act as an effective argument. Somehow, it works here though.


I'm done. Player wins.



You gotta go one question at a time over several weeks. It's slow, but eventually you can stump her.


Or you can argue over time and get a thread calling for your death, eh, BBS? Ah, wait, that ain't a Player tactic. Who was it who pulled that one?
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Re: CEO salaries, corporate power and employees

Postby BigBallinStalin on Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:49 pm

Symmetry wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:
Timminz wrote:Never in my life before this have I seen, "LOL I have no idea what I'm talking about", act as an effective argument. Somehow, it works here though.


I'm done. Player wins.



You gotta go one question at a time over several weeks. It's slow, but eventually you can stump her.


Or you can argue over time and get a thread calling for your death, eh, BBS?


It's not my fault if the public chooses cake. You'll have to file a complaint against the ConquerClubbers who preferred the greater good.
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Re: CEO salaries, corporate power and employees

Postby Symmetry on Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:54 pm

BigBallinStalin wrote:
Symmetry wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:
Timminz wrote:Never in my life before this have I seen, "LOL I have no idea what I'm talking about", act as an effective argument. Somehow, it works here though.


I'm done. Player wins.



You gotta go one question at a time over several weeks. It's slow, but eventually you can stump her.


Or you can argue over time and get a thread calling for your death, eh, BBS? Ah, wait, that ain't a Player tactic. Who was it who pulled that one?


It's not my fault if the public chooses cake. You'll have to file a complaint against the ConquerClubbers who preferred the greater good.


Even for a pretend economist, you show poor taste.
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Re: CEO salaries, corporate power and employees

Postby stahrgazer on Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:04 pm

thegreekdog wrote:I think you're confusing corporate CEOs with financial service providers. They aren't the same thing.


1) Wrong, many financial service providers are companies that have corporate CEOs.
2) Wrong, I said quite clearly, many non-financial-service companies invested, via wall street, in those questionable CDOs and participated in the buying/selling/repackaging of them.
3) Wrong, as I've mentioned before, many CEOs of one company are on the boards of directors of other companies, including financial service provider companies.
4) Wrong. It's just another example of "money-power used unethically to the detriment of the country." As I'd said.
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Re: CEO salaries, corporate power and employees

Postby BigBallinStalin on Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:06 pm

Symmetry wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:
Symmetry wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:
Timminz wrote:Never in my life before this have I seen, "LOL I have no idea what I'm talking about", act as an effective argument. Somehow, it works here though.


I'm done. Player wins.



You gotta go one question at a time over several weeks. It's slow, but eventually you can stump her.


Or you can argue over time and get a thread calling for your death, eh, BBS? Ah, wait, that ain't a Player tactic. Who was it who pulled that one?


It's not my fault if the public chooses cake. You'll have to file a complaint against the ConquerClubbers who preferred the greater good.


Even for a pretend economist, you show poor taste.


I can't help it if I enjoy the company of women, my friend. Tastes are subjective!
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Re: CEO salaries, corporate power and employees

Postby thegreekdog on Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:22 pm

stahrgazer wrote:
thegreekdog wrote:I think you're confusing corporate CEOs with financial service providers. They aren't the same thing.


1) Wrong, many financial service providers are companies that have corporate CEOs.
2) Wrong, I said quite clearly, many non-financial-service companies invested, via wall street, in those questionable CDOs and participated in the buying/selling/repackaging of them.
3) Wrong, as I've mentioned before, many CEOs of one company are on the boards of directors of other companies, including financial service provider companies.
4) Wrong. It's just another example of "money-power used unethically to the detriment of the country." As I'd said.


Answer my other questions in the other thread. Until you do that...

There is a distinct and marked difference between the CEO of General Electric and the chairman of Goldman Sachs. Your numbers (2) through (4) demonstrate how there are marked differences. For example, your (4) above states that "it's just another example" which demonstrates that the situations are different although your interpretation of the ultimate goals may be the same.
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