[General Motors and Chrysler] are fast-failing firms that need to be able to offer high salaries to attract able executives. Between efforts by the "pay czar" to limit these companies' flexibility in compensation, and the efforts by Congress to limit the companies' ability to import vehicles and close plants and dealerships, the government is doing to best to minimize its chances of ever recovering its $60 billion investment in the two firms. This is called shooting oneself in the foot, or, alternatively, politics as usual.
Any monkeying by government with compensation practices, especially below the top level of management and especially in financial firms, will impair the ability of American firms to compete with foreign firms. The banking business is thoroughly international, and unless all countries act in lock step with the United States in regulating compensation practices, many of our ablest financiers will be lured to foreign banks.
Sunday, June 14
The Pay Czar and Compensation Issues--Posner's Comment