Two more gold stars!

March 7, 2008

goldstar1.jpegAs I wait for today’s House Oversight Committee hearing to start on the links between the subprime mess and hefty compensation for several CEOs (the live feed is here and it’s also on CSPAN), it seems like a good time to hand out two more gold stars.

The first one that caught my eye was Unisys (UIS), which included this exhibit to the 10-K they filed last week. The very idea that investors don’t have to dig through footnotes just to find out that the CEO’s spouse is allowed to tag along on certain business trips seems almost radical — and very welcome at a time when the bulk of companies bury that in a footnote to the summary comp table in Enron Beelzebub typeface.

The second one — also from last Friday — was a disclosure in the proxy that Suntrust Banks (STI) filed, which included this gold-star worthy disclosure: “We believe that CIC Agreements should compensate executives who are displaced by a change in control and not serve as an incentive to increase an executive’s personal wealth.” It’s the second part of that sentence that really stands out.

That’s particularly true in light of something I just heard Ranking House Minority Member Thomas Davis say as he tried to justify hefty pay for top executives of failing companies, noting that Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck still got paid even though their movie, Gigli, bombed at the box office.

I’ll continue to monitor the hearing this morning and provide updates if there’s anything newsworthy, or if there’s any more amusing statements by misguided Congressmen.

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