SEC Weighs Bringing Back Fractions in Stock Prices — Wall Street Journal
For some stock prices, the new math might look a lot like the old math: Regulators are thinking about bringing back the fraction.
The move would at least partly undo an 11-year-old rule that replaced fractions of a dollar in stock prices, like 1/8 and 1/16, with pennies. The idea of that change was to trim investors’ trading costs: One-cent increments can lead to narrower gaps between the prices at which brokers buy and sell shares—potentially reducing their opportunity to shave off profits.
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Mayer, already wealthy at age 37 from her Google days, got some $117 million to be earned over five years through a combination of salary, bonus and various stock awards. That’s about $45 million more than former CEO Scott Thompson, age 54, would have gotten had he stayed for five years instead of four months.
Thompson, let’s remember, didn’t leave because he did a bad job; as a former PayPal president, he had been hired as the new golden boy. Rather, he quit before he could be fired after it emerged that his résumé had falsely claimed he had a computer science degree as well as one in accounting.
And that’s the whole point. What matters more in today’s managerial marketplace is not your experience or your actual accomplishments, but your reputation. In a 2007 academic paper from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, “Organizational Form and the Market for Talent,” associate professor of managerial economics Bard Harstad, a Norwegian, argues that superstar pay in today’s CEO market is the result of outsized reputations gained by certain executives. His line of reasoning helps explain how Mayer became the youngest CEO of a Fortune 500 company and one of the highest paid.