Welcome to The Morning Roar for Wednesday June 18, 2014!
The Highest Paid CEO’s Are the Worst Performers
This is true whether they’re CEOs at the highest end of the pay spectrum or the lowest. “The more CEOs are paid, the worse the firm does over the next three years, as far as stock performance and even accounting performance,” says one of the authors of the study, Michael Cooper of the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business.
The conventional wisdom among executive pay consultants, boards of directors and investors is that CEOs make the best decisions for their companies when they have the most skin in the game. That’s why big chunks of the compensation packages for the highest-paid CEOs come in the form of stock and stock options. Case in point: The world’s top-earning CEO, Oracle billionaire Larry Ellison, took in $77 million worth of stock-based compensation last year, according to The New York Times, after refusing his performance bonus and accepting only $1 in salary (he made a stunning total of $96 million in 2012). But does all that stock motivate Ellison to make the best calls for his company?
I’ve spoken before about my skepticism regarding “studies” and their attempt to draw direct correlations, but this is certainly an interesting case. It would seem to fly in the face of the “conventional wisdom” regarding how the free market “always rewards the most productive.” I don’t dispute that in a truly free society this would likely be the case, but all too often libertarians seem to rely on “economic efficiency” arguments when arguing for a free society, when they should be focusing on individual rights and justice.
In the meantime, I’ll postulate a theory: In today’s crony capitalist environment, the largest corporations get and stay that way not necessarily due to their production on their marketplace, but due to their ability to game the system via various regulations and tax loopholes that work in their favor. In an environment such as this, it’s not necessarily the most “productive” who prosper, but those who are able to best work the “system.” The most deceptive, most underhanded type of individual might best succeed in this system. But when truly challenged by difficult times, this person is exposed as nothing more than a hack, and not some sort of brilliant “business mind” as many of today’s CEO’s are so touted.
Conversely, there are likely many CEO’s who really are the best at what they do, but I would venture a guess that you won’t find them working at the largest, most crony capitalist of corporations.
DEA Threatens Massachusetts Doctors Involved With Medical Marijuana
The fine folks at BenSwann.com ran a story this week detailing how DEA agents have been targeting medical marijuana doctors in Massachusetts who are legally prescribing marijuana to their patients. Rachel Blevins writes:
In fact, the DEA issued an ultimatum to Massachusetts doctors, regarding medical marijuana. This ultimatum stated that the doctors must break all connections with marijuana companies, or else they would lose their federal licenses to prescribe other medication.
Dr. Samuel Mazza, the chief executive of Debilitating Medical Conditions Treatment Centers, received a visit from a DEA investigator, shortly after state regulators announced the first 20 applicants approved for provisional licenses for medical marijuana dispensaries.
Mazza told the Boston Globe that he was confronted by DEA investigator, Gregory Kelly, who said, “Here are your options, you either give up your license or give up your position on the board…or you challenge it in court.”
Well, that’s a rather direct threat, now isn’t it?
Even when the laws change, the DEA continues their aggressive tactics in order to continue to justify their soulless, destructive existence. As members of the agency continue to express their discontent with the marijuana legalization movement, the DEA grasps at straws – or medical licenses in this case – as it clings to the last vestiges of the War on Drugs.
The United States Trained ISIS In Jordan
As I mentioned in yesterday’s Morning Roar, it is a well known fact that the United States and its allies have been, at the very least, funding the ISIS (The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) in Syria at the same time they – including Senator Rand Paul – are considering airstrikes against them in Iraq. And now yesterday, WorldNetDaily is reporting that members of the ISIS were trained by the US at a secret base in Jordan:
Members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIS, were trained in 2012 by U.S. instructors working at a secret base in Jordan, according to informed Jordanian officials.The officials said dozens of ISIS members were trained at the time as part of covert aid to the insurgents targeting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. The officials said the training was not meant to be used for any future campaign in Iraq.
The Jordanian officials said all ISIS members who received U.S. training to fight in Syria were first vetted for any links to extremist groups like al-Qaida.
Oh, the tangled imperial web we weave. The plans of the foreign policy makers, the makers of Empire, always seem to come back to bite them in the end. But this begs the question: If the U.S. government is funding and training the ISIS, is it possible that they actually approve of the attempt to topple Iraq’s government, which is known to be very friendly with Iran? Is this a backdoor to the long-sought-after-by-Neocons war with Iran?
Let’s hope that an informed, and increasingly anti-war public will not be so easily duped this time around.
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