By John Cardillo
Interestingly enough, on the way to work today, the federal courthouse in Miami was still flying the American Flag. Such a sight was interesting to me today because, when I read the newspapers this morning, I figured we had been taken over by China, Cuba or Venezuela. After all, what else could explain the president of the United States telling private industry how much to pay their executives?
But no, America was not invaded, the government not overthrown. It was just B. Hussein Obama being B. Hussein Obama.
For those still in the dark regarding the latest leg of our trek down the slippery slope toward socialist, I’m talking about how our new president wants to cap executive salaries–in those companies which received bailout money–at $500,000. And, of course, he’ll do it with the help of a Congress which, back in December, just voted to give itself a pay raise.
Now, some of you might be saying “hmm, that’s fair, five hundred grand is a nice paycheck.” Well, yeah, it is. However, that’s not for you, me, or President Obama to decide — it’s for the market to decide. Sadly, what Obama and his fellow liberals don’t seem to realize, beyond the fact that the bailout was a horrible idea to begin with, is that everything possible must be done to ensure that these bailed-out companies now succeed. No longer is it only the money of stock speculators at risk; now, everybody’s money is at risk. And when it comes to ensuring success, one of the easiest ways to do so and help that process along is to hire top talent — and top talent in the financial world costs a slight bit more than $500,000.
As a private sector CEO, I will tell you that salary caps will do more to hurt bailed-out companies than the Obama administration and all handout-loving, newly socialist Americans realize. Say goodbye to the best investment bankers, the best traders, the best analysts; the very hearts and souls of finance profit centers. For better or for worse, these people, when at the tops of their games, make millions per year. And, why shouldn’t they? They make the banks and financial houses billions.
Five hundred thousand dollars per year is not even a negotiation starting point for these types of unique talents. They’ll just move on from companies that took federal money, and go to hedge funds where they’ll enjoy less oversight, less regulation, and bigger compensation packages. Taxpayer owned financial institutions will be left hiring the “B” and “C” teams, second- and third-string talent which will bring second- and third-rate results. As a result, large powerhouses of finance will subsequently lose investment to smaller private funds, and bank stock prices will continue to sink.
Bailed-out institutions cannot quit being competitive, especially with executive compensation, just because they’re using federal money. In fact, it’s their duty and responsibility to look for every competitive edge. Quite the opposite from capping salaries, large portions of bailout money should be used to search for, hire, and pay, the most successful money managers and analysts. They’re the ones who will restore profitability to the banks. Salary caps serve nothing but socialist agendas.
In the meantime, I hope somebody in the Obama administration realizes what a disaster salary caps will be, and has the resolve to speak up. If not, say goodbye to good taxpayer money poorly spent.
John Cardillo, a former NYPD officer now considered to be one of the world’s foremost experts on online safety and security, is president and CEO of Sentinel Tech Holding Corp., an Internet security company which specializes in online crime and predator detection, online child safety, and the protection of Internet end users from criminals and sexual predators. Cardillo lives in Miami, Florida and, in his spare time, can be found astride his Harley-Davidson, in the Florida Keys, at the shooting range, or on South Beach. He has been contributing to America’s Right since January 2009.