As you may have heard, the Securities and Exchange recently adopted a rule that requires companies to publicly state the ratio between the pay of its chief executive officer and median compensation of its workers. One guy who's not a huge fan of the directive? Erstwhile Merrill Lynch CEO (turned CIT CEO) John Thain, who was fired from Mother Merrill following Bank of America's 2008 acquisition of the firm, in part because he made the decision to spare no expense redecorating his office in the style of Louis XIV chic-- an interior design exercise that included $90,000 area rugs, $1,500 garbage cans, and $20,000 light fixtures, the optics of which didn't looks so great at the time.
The new rule “undercuts” the SEC’s credibility because investors don’t care about such gaps, Thain said. “This is just a purely populist, political move and it’s not of benefit to shareholders,” Thain said in the interview. “Why don’t we disclose what the top baseball player makes versus the guy who sells hot dogs in the stadium?”