CEO pay – its an envy thing

May 08 2006 by Brian Amble Print This Article

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission proposals that would force companies to disclose more information about executive compensation packages could result in bosses demanding even more pay, according to investment legend and long-time critic of executive excess, Warren Buffett

"The SEC wants more transparency on pay, which is basically a good idea, but it may become a shopping list for company CEOs," said the Berkshire Hathaway Chairman.

"When executives find out that their rivals are getting their haircuts paid for by the company, they will all suddenly want the same."

Buffett also said excessive executive pay was driven by envy rather than greed, suggesting that mechanisms that allowed CEOs to compare their pay with others would only make matters worse.

"It's interesting that when someone gets a $2 million bonus, they're wonderfully happy, until they find out the next person got $2.1 million," he said. "Then they're miserable for the rest of the year."