The Securities and Exchange Commission, in a move announced late on the last business day before Christmas, reversed a decision it had made in July and adopted a rule that would allow many companies to report significantly lower total compensation for top executives.
The change in the way grants of stock options are to be explained to investors is a victory for corporations that had opposed the rule when it was issued in July, and a defeat for institutional investors that had backed the S.E.C.’s original rule.
“It was a holiday present to corporate America,” Ann Yerger, the executive director of the Council of Institutional Investors, said yesterday. “It will certainly make the numbers look smaller in 2007 than they would otherwise have looked.”
So much for the SEC's role in inspiring investor confidence.
Full Disclosure: In an effort to comply with the SEC's new rules, which are really the old rules, I must report that my total compensation for this year was four-hundred forteen dollars and eighty-six or eighty-seven cents. I can't remember. I'll file an amended report if it was something different.