Paul Krugman skriver i New York Times om 90–talets praxis att basera direktörernas ersättningar på aktiekursen:
"And until just a few months ago we thought it was working.
Now, as each day seems to bring a new business scandal, we can see the theory`s fatal flaw: a system that lavishly rewards executives for success tempts those executives, who control much of the information available to outsiders, to fabricate the appearance of success. Aggressive accounting, fictitious transactions that inflate sales, whatever it takes.
It`s true that in the long run reality catches up with you. But a few years of illusory achievement can leave an executive immensely wealthy. Ken Lay, Gary Winnick, Chuck Watson, Dennis Kozlowski — all will be consoled in their early retirement by nine–figure nest eggs. Unless you go to jail — and does anyone think any of our modern malefactors of great wealth will actually do time? — dishonesty is, hands down, the best policy.
And no, we`re not talking about a few bad apples. Statistics for the last five years show a dramatic divergence between the profits companies reported to investors and other measures of profit growth; this is clear evidence that many, perhaps most, large companies were fudging their numbers."
Det kan inte hjälpas att jag kommer att tänka på det gamla Sovjet, där bonus var kopplad till hur företaget nådde (eller överträffade) planmålen; och hur alla där regelmässigt manipulerade sin redovisning.