say.what: I agree that $35 million a year is excessive compensation for anyone. Shareholders don't revolt, however, because first of all the top three executives are the founders of the company and set the rules. Secondly, the few cents that their compensation reduces our dividend really is insignificant if they can keep in the black over the long term, which so far they have done.
Performance based compensation sounds good, but there are many ways that this can be manipulated and it usually is. It encourages short term risk taking, accounting tricks, timing of disclosures, and share buybacks, to name a few practices that enhance earnings (dividends) and/or share price. Right now, NLY could increase leverage, for instance, and increase earnings but add risk which this conservative management is loath to do.
If there were some mechanism to go back and confiscate the performance based compensation that lead to disaster, I would be all for it. But as it is, our executives reap their rewards and move on with no penaly for their recklessness.
What system of compensation do you advocate which is not subject to manipulation?