Smart reform of Wall Street

Monday, August 23, 2010

Compensation for Wall Street executives has been the stuff of legend, especially when the financial meltdown occurred three years ago. Now, as The Post has noted ["Hidden in Wall Street overhaul: Broader federal sway over pay," Economy & Business, Aug. 19], an arcane piece of the Wall Street reform legislation will have federal regulators examining bankers' executive compensation methodologies.

And it's not just the big banks that will be overseen. Many other entities regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission will fall under the statute. For example, federal regulators will now be able to construct rules regarding the makeup of boards of directors of financial market entities to promote increased shareholder involvement and diversity. Additional public engagement in corporate decision-making will open boardrooms to more than just those who are focused on their wallets, so that corporate objectives can more responsibly address goals of their ultimate stakeholders.

It's my hope and expectation that new governance rules will bring more common sense to our financial markets and mitigate the risky behaviors and conflicts of interest that led to crippling our system.

Bart Chilton, Washington

The writer is a member of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

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