Bill Gates to Wall Street: You earn too much. America responds: No duh.

Bill Gates offered a revolutionary observation on Wednesday in Manhattan, during a discussion on philanthropy at the 92nd Street Y lecture hall. Wall Street pay, he said, is "often too high."

Gates's wisdom on Wall Street's compensation problem seems obvious enough, but his perspective on the theory is a little more inventive than most. The pay crisis, Gates says, is largely the result of a 1993 law that capped executive salaries: "It was a bad milestone in controlling executive salaries when that $1 million cap went on."