During questioning at today's Senate Banking Committee hearing on Wall Street Reform, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) received confirmation from SEC Chair Mary Jo White that the Commission is developing the rule necessary to implement his requirement that public companies disclose how much more their CEO's are paid than rank and file workers and will issue it "within the next month or two."
In an exchange with SEC Chair White, Menendez pushed for confirmation of a recent report by Bloomberg news, in which anonymous sources indicated the proposed rule would be forthcoming soon, pointing out that it's been years since the requirement was passed as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
Here is the exchange:
Menendez: "During your confirmation hearing I asked you about a provision that I included in Dodd-Frank of having disclosure in annual SEC filings of the amount of CEO pay and the amount of median company worker pay and the ratio of the two. I asked you to look at that as a Chairperson. There was a Bloomberg report that suggested that the SEC is moving forward with a proposed rule soon -- is that a correct report or an incorrect report?"
White: "I wouldn't want to comment on specific timing . We are very much as a staff and commission focused on that rulemaking."
Menendez: "So while you don't want to commit to a time, since I've been waiting for several years now -- which precedes you can you give me some timeframe?"
White: "It should be in the near future. I don't know if that's helpful to you "
Menendez: "How do you define near future .two months, three months, six months, a year?"
White: "I would hope that it is completed in the next month or two "
Menendez has been calling on the Commission to issue the rules needed to implement the requirement since the law passed, including a letter in 2011 and 2012
According to data compiled recently by Bloomberg news, across the Standard & Poor's 500 Index of companies, the average multiple of CEO compensation to that of rank-and-file workers is 204 -- up from 170 in 2009 -- with executives at some companies raking in more than 1000 times as much as their average worker. Over the last decade, median family income fell for the first time since the Great Depression.