An interesting quote from Lord Adair Turner, the chairman of the Financial Services Authority, about the Royal Bank of Scotland. He explains why senior executives at the bank were not personally culpable for its demise.
“We can’t pursue a case that says “the bank went bankrupt, therefore the chief executive is to blame.” You have to show a direct link (between executive actions and a collapse).”
Indeed so. You can’t prove a link between the decisions of chief executives and the performance of massive companies. So why then should they get huge pay packages if their companies are successful? Why do they get the benefit of the doubt on both the upside and the downside? For those lucky enough to get to the top of these organisations, ahead of all the many people who are equally qualified to do the same job, a simple principle applies: Heads I win, tails you lose.