Better stock options

Lorna and I were just talking about ways to incentivize corporate execs to choose good long-term outcomes for their companies, rather than short-term ones. This conversation was an offshoot of one about GM's recent sales stall and layoffs, after their "Employee Discounts" program was so successful at scaring off long-term revenue.

Her suggestion was to scale vesting rate by stock price--in other words, to include area under the curve in the reward structure of the company. Now that option grants are mostly counted against earnings, it seems like (as a bonus) this would give companies some benefits in tough times.

On the negative side, often a lot of "work" (e.g., growing a smaller business to a position to generate revenue on the scale with a company's main business) is done at times when the stock price is low, and so the standard scheme may provide an appropriate reward as well, if people are already striving for the long term.

But for garden-variety short-term-focused CEOs, maybe it would make a dent in the approach taken to American business.

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