J K Galbraith on Executive Pay

"John Kenneth Galbraith once described executive pay as a warm personal gesture by the beneficiary to himself. In today’s world of remuneration committees, it is more often a warm personal gesture by friends to each other." (John Kay, FT)

UBS - curious selection of new board members

What is the 'politically correct' composition of a company board? We are not sure that board members are more than an in-house management consultancy. They certainly are far removed from the real owners of the company and even the fiduciaries in the asset management world have little say in the affairs of a board. But news that UBS has appointed two women to its board - one an academic economist and the other one lawyer - raises some questions. Given the appalling track record of economists (you all know the many jokes about economists, as for example: An economist is a trained professional paid to guess wrong about the economy) one can not be too hopeful about these latest appointments. Don't forget the lawyers though: Q: Why won't sharks attack lawyers? A: Professional courtesy. Maybe selection by eye colour would be more effective. There may be a good cause for more women on company boards but we doubt that giving in those who expect miracles from this will be proven to be right in the long run. Whether or not a bank run by economists (Axel Weber, the incoming Chairman of UBS is another one) only time will tell.