Sunday, 6 September 2009

G20 kind of, sort of curbs bonuses

Blogging has been light, as I am at a conference this weekend.
The G20 has curbed bankers' bonuses. Well not exactly, the headlines are somewhat misleading. While the G20 did agree that caps should be imposed on a company's bonus pot, they did not agree to cap individual bonuses as France and Germany wanted. A number of people are suggesting that this will be very difficult to enforce - and I agree - especially after reading this:

In a separate paper produced alongside the communiqué, the G20 said that bonuses should be paid on a long-term basis, over at least three years, and that payments should be subject to an "effective clawback" if the bank's financial position subsequently deteriorates.

Paying out bonuses over three years limits incentive, companies know this and can find other ways to work around it. They can also take their business to other locations where these restrictions are not in place.

And now for the extreme quote of the night, from Alistair Darling:
"Every single banker has to realise that whether or not they received [direct] assistance they would not be here were it not for the efforts made by the countries, underwritten by the taxpayer."