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Top pay for those who decide the pay of the top paid

In Britain last year, pay rose on average by 1.9%, says Income Data Services. That is of course, in real terms, not a rise at all, but a pay cut of 0.7%. The pay of the bosses of Britain’s top companies which employ a very large number of us, the Chairmen of FTSE 100 companies, went up by very much more — 6%. No surprises there.

And why did those experienced “independent” directors who protect the interest of those FTSE companies’ shareholders (including our own pension funds and insurers) allow their bosses’ pay to rise by so much more? Could it be, perhaps, because their own pay (that of the senior independent directors of the FTSE 100) rose by 10%. But it gets worse

And what about the directors who are specifically charged with ensureing that directors’ pay is reasonable, the Chairmen of remuneration committees. You will, be now not be surprised to learn that their pay rose by 14%.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? asked the Roman satirist, Juvenal — who watches over the watchmen? It turns out, almost 2000 years later, that those who are supposed to make sure the system is fair and reasonable are ripping us off most of all. You couldn’t make it up.

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