12 Steps to Breaking Enronesque Habits
1. Improve public disclosure of (a) conflicts of interest among board members, management and auditors; (b) amount of cash taxes actually paid and significant sources of tax credits; (c) financing from government agencies and multinational agencies; and (d) recipients of campaign contributions and amount of lobbying expense.
2. Require 401(k) plans to be diversified, as traditional pension plans already are.
3. End taxpayer subsidies for excessive executive compensation by allowing companies to deduct only compensation less than twenty-five times the compensation of the lowest-paid employee.
4. Ban company loans to executives.
5. Adopt a regulatory standard of board independence.
6. Require complete auditor independence; ban companies' auditors from doing non-audit consulting work.
7. Require auditors to be changed every five years.
8. Require stock options to be expensed on the company's annual income statement. (Currently stock options never show up as an expense, an accounting convention that has inflated corporate earnings by tens of billions of dollars.)
9. Prohibit the inclusion of pension fund gains in the presentation of corporate earnings.
10. Adopt a progressive corporate income tax in which larger corporations pay a higher tax rate than small businesses.
11. Require US and international trade finance agencies to include sustainable development criteria and democratic input from affected peoples.
12. Amend corporate laws that mandate shareholder primacy in favor of rules that balance the needs and interests of all stakeholders.