Take Some Heat
Americans have good reason to be disillusioned about the egregious irresponsibility that caused the near complete meltdown of our financial system. In this environment four measures would help to restore confidence:
CEOs of banks should revise compensation plans so that the bulk of compensation derives from salary, not bonuses. When bonuses are awarded, the link to performance should be made clear to shareholders.
Financial houses of all types should do a better job of declaring their profits and losses by simplifying annual reports and other announcements to the public.
And as some firms are doing, TARP funds should be paid back to the government as soon as possible.
Finally, industry leaders must be personally more aggressive and visible in their outreach programs to the public. That visibility will mean taking some heat. But trust engendered now will be vital in future as Treasury and the Federal Reserve take measures to head off inflation and the depreciation of the dollar, which are sure to happen if we do not reverse the unsupportable accumulation of national debt caused by the amount of government funding required to bail out our financial institutions.
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