Meanwhile, Senator-elect, James Webb (in the Wall Street Journal, of all places) notes the role of corporate boards in escalating executive pay. "Incestuous corporate boards regularly approve compensation packages for chief executives and others that are out of logic's range. As this newspaper has reported, the average CEO of a sizeable corporation makes more than $10 million a year . . ."
Back in the glory days of Reactionary Radicals, I quoted Wendell Berry on the elephant in the room in terms of government intervention in the economy -- limited liability:
You would find that these organizations are organized expressly for the evasion of responsibility. They are structures in which, as my brother says, "the buck never stops." The buck is processed up the hierarchy until finally it is passed to "the shareholders," who characteristically are too widely dispersed, too poorly informed, and too unconcerned to be responsible for anything.
This intervention becomes more important the less it is mentioned. Shareholders are free to sell their stock if they decide that the board is overpaying the CEO, but the diffuse, transitory and anonymous nature stock ownership makes that an unlikely check on the behavior of boards and executives.