CEO pay: the FT should stop raising spurious objections and ask for real data

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The FT is getting very excited about the fact that they say new disclosure regimes on CEO pay will not work. The substance of their claim is that if Goldman Sachs pays all its staff a great deal on average the massive salary paid to its CEO will represent a smaller ratio to average pay than will the ratio of John Lewis' boss to his or her average staff members' pay.

The word 'spurious' comes to mind when considering this objection.

And the answer is obvious: as I suggested recently, publish the pay of all staff in bands, showing the number of staff in each £10,000 band by gender and country. Then we would have the data to do any calculation we like.

The trouble is that the proposal made on CEO pay is a gesture. We don't want gestures. We want data. That's what accounts are meant to supply. Then we can make up our own minds. That's what accounts are also meant to enable.

So the question is do the FT understand the objectives of accounting, or are they being deliberately obtuse?