Thursday, 28 February 2013

The (ex) banker's bonus bonanza bitch fest

Dear EU

Thanks for the cap on bonuses, well overdue.

I was just saying to my mate Flash (real name Gordon) the other day that we aren't half on to a cushy deal, you know. What with the golden handshakes, the 'who-you-know' network, the smoke and mirror deals, the greasing of palms and mutual back scratching, well, it's all one big jolly, isn't it?
Plus, guess what? We get to gamble on a daily basis with - get this - other people's money! How cool is that? And the more complicated we make the deal, the less anyone understands it (including us, I'll be honest) and the easier to get away with some of those calculation errors that used to catch me out during GCSE maths.

Anyway, enough about all that, let's talk about the readies.

Fact of the matter is that regardless what you put in place to curb our bonuses - which, let's be honest here, is why the majority of us actually choose to a) work in the City, and b) go in to banking - you will be both hard pressed to enforce it as well as destined to more frustration as we find alternative imaginative ways to compensate ourselves for any 'losses'.

In essence, it's a battle you cannot win.

Basic pay levels will just be increased, additional funds will be paid in to escrow accounts, and beneficiary loans will then conveniently find their way in to personal bank accounts on a monthly basis.
In addition, there will be a whole new raft of complex instruments put in place, specifically designed to detract attention from remuneration and re-focus your efforts on capital adequacy and avoiding risk at all costs.

But, hey, good effort anyway. How long did it take you, by the way, to agree on this? Were you able to take advantage of your EU parliamentary privileges or will you be billing the taxpayer for overtime? And were all the perks of the job - first class travel, three-course meals, chauffeurs, etc - laid on for you during this most pressing debate? I hope so. It would be awful if you had been dealt short shrift.

No hard feelings. I get where you are coming from and I can sympathise. It's tough at the top. Or not even at the top, actually. Because, you see, the percentage of individuals you seem to be gunning for is, in reality, quite minuscule compared to the overall numbers employed in the banking sector in the City.
People who are doing their job, being paid a market salary, and looking forward to a bonus (never guaranteed, you also seem to have forgotten that bit) at year end for having done their job well and contributed to the earnings of their institution.

The simple rule is no profit, no pay. Now that is something we can all subscribe to.

But I am not so sure you would understand, given your choice to partake in the EU gravy train and pontificate on matters that - in all honesty - you really do not have a clue about.

Yours, in euros,
(former investment banker)


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