Monday, February 12, 2007

Chair of House Financial Services Committee: Frankly, It is Time to Reign in Exec Comp

Representative Barney Frank (D-MA) has called for stricter rules on executive compensation and has criticized the Securities and Executive Commission for supporting FASB language which Frank believes will reduce reporting requirements on stock options. Although the SEC justified their position on the basis of consistency and understandably, Frank was not sold, citing the recent $200 million + severance package to Home Depot's Robert Nardelli. Under consideration is legislation that would: require auditors to verify executive compensation packages, require greater and more understandable disclosure of executive compensation packages, additional disclosure on how bonuses can be achieved, separate shareholder approval of termination packages for top executives and website disclosure of executive compensation.

It does not take Sam Antar (White Collar Fraud), JackCiesielski (AAO), Michelle Leder (Found in the Footnotes) or David Phillips (10Q Detective) to recognize that better disclosure of executive compensation is consistent with generally accepted auditing standards. Do not underestimate this issue; next to present discomfort with the events in the Middle East, a perception of excessive pay for top corporate executives is one of the strongest issues in the Democratic Party's arsenal.


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