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Expert Perspective by Grahall’s OmniMedia Editorial Board
 
expert perspective telescopeMaybe it’s just that time of year: the days are growing shorter, the stores are announcing their “back to school sales” and end of summer Labor Day barbeques are being planned.  Every parent of school-aged kid is searching the house for the back to school checklist that was sent home just before summer vacation.  That checklist can include anything from school supplies, to medical updates, to emergency contact forms. Completing that checklist will ensure that the child is ready on all fronts for the new school year.

An August 12, 2009 article in the New York Times (Pelosi, Frank urge for control of CEO pay at TARP banks ) by Ronald D. Orol, MarketWatch  got our Editorial Board thinking about what faces Congress when they return to legislative session in September.  We thought it might be helpful to provide our lawmakers with a checklist so they are fully prepared on all fronts for a return to their busy fall session.  Here is what we would like Congress to “check off” on two subjects that are near and dear to our hearts before they arrive in Washington:

1) Executive Pay:

a.   Revisit the unintended consequences 162(m) limiting executive salaries to $1 million (this legislation increased the use of short term incentives that arguably led to our most recent recession)
b.   Re-read the report issued to Henry Waxman on Executive pay and conflicts of interest among compensation consultants (to understand that conflict of interest was a contributor to the executive compenastion crisis we have today)
c.   Review the SEC Enforcement actions, speeches and testimony on Options Backdating and get a copy of the recent study by researchers at the University of Houston’s C.T. Bauer College of Business that found “only one-third of all companies that backdated were investigated or caught.”    (Referenced in The Wall Street Journal article “Backdating Likely More Widespread”)
d.   Read Michael Graham’s book “Effective Executive Compensation” and follow our Grahall blogs on this subject, for example “You Don’t Say”.
e.   Read the “Competitive Advantage of Nations” by Michael Porter about how, for the past 100 years the United States has impacted the world (often good and sometimes bad). Now is the time for American lawmakers to consider the impact that our laws have on the rest of the world. Now is the time to set an example of openness, transparency, and clear responsibilities to all stakeholders, which goes beyond “mere” shareholders.

2) Heath Care:

a. Get a swine flu shot and pneumonia vaccine while you’re at it, and make tele-legislation arrangements just in case.
b. Complete Grahall’s recommended Summer Reading List for Congress
c. Check in frequently with Robert Cirkiel’s Health Care Reform page on Grahall.com to get the best information available on the ever changing Health Care Reform landscape.

Contact Grahall’s OmniMedia editorial Director at edie.kingston@grahall.com

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