OLD Media Moves

NYT editorial page, biz section at odds on executive compensation

September 27, 2009

John Carney of The Business Insider writes Monday about how the business section of The New York Times this weekend went against the editorial page a weekend ago on the issue of executive compensation.

Carney writes, “You’ll recall that a week ago, Paul Krugman wrote a column arguing that the incentives contained in banker compensation packages had decisively contributed to the financial crisis. He went on to say that if we didn’t reform those incentives, we were headed for another crash.

“‘Indeed, you can make the case that reforming bankers’ compensation is the single best thing we can do to prevent another financial crisis a few years down the road,’ Krugman argued.

“Yesterday, the influential business New York Times writer Joe Nocera took a swipe at that argument, describing the compensation issue as a ‘sideshow compared to strengthening capital requirements.’ Nocera went on to explain that the focus on compensation by European politicans was a self-serving ploy intended to evade more serious reforms.

“We don’t normally focus on such things. It’s far better, in most cases, to write about the underlying issue than the personalities who are analyzing it. But in this case we’ll make an exception because we’ve written so extensively about the issue — and because we find the backlash against Krugman’s piece so fascinating. It is as if the editors of the business pages were trying to distance themselves very publicly from the op-ed page.”

Read more here.

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