CEO pay and performance

A new study by MSCI relates the highest-paid CEOs with the lowest shareholder value.

Image taken from The Independent


MSCI researchers Ric Marshall and Linda-Eling Lee compared the salaries of 800 US-based CEOs in large and medium-sized companies with the returns to their shareholders during their board tenure. They find that a high CEO pay did not correlate with higher returns.

In fact the “highest paid [CEOs] had the worst performance by a significant margin“. On the other hand the lowest-paid CEOs were the ones who “more consistently displayed higher long-term investment returns”.

As Peter Yeung writes on his article for The Independent,

The study, carried out by corporate research firm MSCI, found that for every $100 (£76) invested in companies with the highest-paid CEOs would have grown to $265 (£202) over 10 years.

But the same amount invested in the companies with the lowest-paid CEOs would have grown to $367 (£279) over a decade.

The MSCI study is available online (no subscription required).


Confronting stereotypes

Binyavanga Wainaina is a Kenyan writer and founding editor of the literary journal Kwani? in Kenya. A couple of years ago one of his articles appeared in Granta and since then it continues to inspire and provoke the literary world.

The article was titled How Not to Write About Africa where he confronts outdated and dangerous Western stereotypes of African-ess.

After celebrity activists and aid workers, conservationists are Africa’s most important people. Do not offend them. You need them to invite you to their 30,000-acre game ranch or ‘conservation area’, and this is the only way you will get to interview the celebrity activist. Often a book cover with a heroic-looking conservationist on it works magic for sales. Anybody white, tanned and wearing khaki who once had a pet antelope or a farm is a conservationist, one who is preserving Africa’s rich heritage. When interviewing him or her, do not ask how much funding they have; do not ask how much money they make off their game. Never ask how much they pay their employees.

Thought provoking, inspirational and humbling.

The fact of the matter is that many writers tend to use clichés when writing on cultures they are least used to. Not bothering to make the distinction between one headgear and another, between one type of dance and the next.

Not willing to take the time and put the effort for such distinctions results in just bad writing, and this holds not only when writing for different cultures but genders too.


From egalitarian to Iron Law?

Is it possible for a platform based on egalitarian principles to evolve to something of an Iron Law?

According to a recent paper by Bradi Heaberlin and Simon DeDeo in future internet, the wikipedia has gradually evolved away from its founding egalitarian ideals to a more or less corporate bureaucracy.

Wikipedia remains in principle a self-governing community, relying primarily on social/peer pressure to enforce the established core norms. However the development of its social hierarchy structure and online behavioral norms among its editors is

You start with a decentralized democratic system, but over time you get the emergence of a leadership class with privileged access to information and social networks.

The authors identified approximately 100 founding users that set the core norms governing the Wikipedia community. The community has now more than 30 000 active members.

Their interests begin to diverge from the rest of the group. They no longer have the same needs and goals. So not only do they come to gain the most power within the system, but they may use it in ways that conflict with the needs of everybody else.

Check out the extensive article from Gizmodo!