Bonus Balls

Here’s a report from the Wall Street Journal http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20100131-703419.html suggesting bankers are now using financial instruments of the unregulated variety to turn their commission-based share options into cold hard cash. Commission payments are now made in chares as opposed to cash. This is in an effort to stop bankers selling any old rubbish under the guise of grade A material and then retiring from the game, their enormous cash commission bonuses safely stashed away somewhere no-one save themselves can get at it. If the bonuses are paid in shares, goes the reasoning, then bankers will have to behave responsibly inorder to preserve their own commission-paying companies. The bankers though, as I predicted at the time this scheme was thought of, are far cleverer than those who oppose them (whether this opposition or not is purely cosmertic for political purtposes is, of course, a different argument) and will simply invent new ways of cashing in faster than they can be understood and outlawed. Heads, the banks win. Tails, the banks win. Plus ca change.

BB

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