Steve Bartlett and Bruce Freed join the McCuistion Program to discuss business and politics and whether or not they are a toxic mix.

Many people feel too much money is spent on political campaigns and lobbying activities – especially from Unions and other corporations who pursue their own special interests, rather than that of the general public.

Joining host, Dennis McCuistion, are:

  • Steve Bartlett: Senior Advisor Treliant, Former CEO Financial Services Roundtable, and Congressman- R Texas
  • Bruce Freed: President/ Founder, Center for Political Accountability

Steve Bartlett, Bruce Freed and Dennis McCuistionThe increase in “secret monies” (undisclosed contributions) poses a serious risk to companies who could then be faced with extortion and shakedown threats. The rise in 501 (c)(4)’s, who may have a close affiliation with elected officials and less public reporting of where their funds go, is also bringing more attention to this issue. Shareholders and corporate directors feel strongly about disclosure and accountability. Both are necessary because of the risks that corporate political spending poses and because it is after all a matter of good corporate governance.

A 2013 CPA- Zicklin study found that among the top 200 companies in the Standard and Poor’s “500”:

  • Almost 70% make some disclosure of direct political spending.
  • 61% have Board oversight of political spending.
  • 57% are open about their payments to trade associations.
  • 35% disclose their payments or have policies against giving to 501 (c) (4)’s.
  • 118 companies across the country had agreed to disclose political spending and give their boards more oversight over this issue.

Yet there are many decisions a company must make, economic, tax and  regulations decisions that are central to its welfare. And, not to mention, there is a risk to not being more politically involved. Almost every decision that affects businesses in this country is made through the political, legislative and public policy process.

Is it possible that  corporation’s, their shareholders and individuals may actually need to be more, not less involved so they can express their views on what impacts them?

Transparency and being knowledgeable is critical to a company’s reputation and all of us need to be savvier about this issue. So tune in and see what the experts have to say, pro and con, about an issue that affects us all.

Join Steve Bartlett, Bruce Freed and Dennis McCuistion as we talk about things that matter… with people who care.

Niki N. McCuistion
Executive Producer/Producer
Organizational Culture, Governance and Strategic Planning,
Consultant and Problem Solver
214-750-5157
nikin@nikimccuistion.com

The question is: Are CEO salaries comparable to what they’re contributing to the value of their corporation? If so, this may justify what some would consider an outrageous amount. If not, is the company actually losing money, so it is in fact unfair pay? If compensation isn’t tied to performance then “excessive” compensation is a problem and should be questioned. – Excerpt

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CEO SalariesJoining host, Dennis McCuistion, to talk about CEO salaries are:

  • Linda Wilkins: Tax Attorney, Wilkins, Finston Law Group
  • Marc Hodak: Managing Partner, Hodak Value Advisors

Headlines often blare: CEO of such and such company is earning $50,000,000 a year, which by the standards of ordinary salaries seems outrageously high.

The question is: Are CEO salaries comparable to what they’re contributing to the value of their corporation? If so, this may justify what some would consider an outrageous amount. If not, is the company actually losing money, so it is in fact unfair pay? If compensation isn’t tied to performance then “excessive” compensation is a problem and should be questioned.

Tying compensation significantly – 75 to 80% of that compensation to actual delivered performance is a metric many companies are adapting. Often the numbers we see are a combination of factors. What the headline may reflect is actually what the SEC calls a “funny” number, not cash in someone’s pocket, but equity compensation, which an exec may forfeit if performance is not achieved.

There are two ways of providing equity: service or time based. Performance shares provide a second layer of performance an executive has to achieve: profitability, earnings, stock price targets, or return on equity among others.

Yet, while some may say that given the way CEOs are actually compensated, executive compensation is not excessively high, a disturbing trend is contributing to the gap in pay today. In the 60’s and 70’s the average CEO’s salary was 20 to 30 times higher relative to the average worker’s pay. In the 90’s that figure ballooned to 200-300 times the pay of the average worker.

Congress has actually contributed to how corporations are now compensating executives as more corporations take advantage of tax code loopholes. A corporation’s board has to ask what’s fair and what’s in the best interest of their shareholders. Numbers are public, unjustified severance packages sometimes have nothing to do with how performance was achieved, and the public is calling for more transparency.

Tune in to see how CEO salaries actually work, what is considered unfair, how socially conscious companies such as Whole Foods handles executive compensation, and how all of this impacts you and the cost of doing business.

Talking about things that matter… with people who care.

Niki N. McCuistion
Executive Producer/Producer
Organizational Culture, Governance and Strategic Planning,
Consultant and Problem Solver
214-750-5157
nikin@nikimccuistion.com

 

Only 2% of Americans have an adequate pension or retirement account. Yet while the picture appears to be doom and gloom our experts offer sound advice- it’s not too late to turn the picture around to be able to retire with dignity.

Joining host, Dennis McCuistion, are guests:

    • Alan Goldfarb, CFP, AIF, MBA – Managing Director: FSG Advisors
    • Brooks Hamilton – Attorney, Founder: Brooks Hamilton and Partners
 Dennis McCuistion and Alan Goldfarb on American Retirement

Dennis McCuistion and Alan Goldfarb

Inflation, lack of savings and investments and the last several years’ economy has changed the economic landscape for many Americans; making it almost impossible for many to retire. 95% of Americans may well run out of money in their retirement. The American dream of retiring with dignity is gone.

Compounding the problem is increased life expectancy, which has gone from 47 years of age in 1900 to 77 years; a gain of 30 years in less than 100 years. In 1900 retirees in the US comprised less than 5% of the population and lived only a few years past retirement. Today retirees are 1/3 of the population and live for decades past retirement.

Brooks Hamilton while taping the episode.

Brooks Hamilton while taping the episode.

With inadequate investment returns, some 401ks actually showing a negative return (when adjusted for inflation), and pensions, social security and savings on shaky ground, how will retirees maintain their lifestyle and pay their bills? In 1970 Americans saved 10% of their pay. Today they average 1-2% savings. Why did worker savings nose dive? Today: 29% of Americans have savings of less than $1000.55% of Americans did not save 1 cent last year.34% of adults say they have no money saved for retirement.Americans have $772 billion in credit card balances.Last year more Americans filed for bankruptcy than graduated from college.Last year more Americans filed for bankruptcy than filed for divorce.42% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck.55% spend more than their annual income.33% of retired Americans rely almost solely on social security payments. Tune in to learn more about American retirement.

Talking about things that matter… with people who care.

Niki N. McCuistion
Executive Producer/Producer
Organizational Culture, Governance and Strategic Planning,Consultant and Problem Solver
214-750-5157
nikin@nikimccuistion.com

Be sure to watch more McCuistion TV programs on our website www.McCuistionTV.com.

American Retirement