Banker Bonuses – A quick comment

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By David Malone
 
Just a quick comment on banker bonuses and specifically the bonus of Mr Hester at massively bailed out but STILL loss making RBS.
 
The argument I have heard frequently in the media (most recently this morning on the Today Programme on radio 4 this morning [27 Jan]) is that the bonus really has to be paid because it is the necessary recognition that Mr Hester is doing a good job at making the bank less disastrously awful than it was.

By David Malone
 
Just a quick comment on banker bonuses and specifically the bonus of Mr Hester at massively bailed out but STILL loss making RBS.
 
The argument I have heard frequently in the media (most recently this morning on the Today Programme on radio 4 this morning [27 Jan]) is that the bonus really has to be paid because it is the necessary recognition that Mr Hester is doing a good job at making the bank less disastrously awful than it was.

We should also pay him because otherwise he and others might leave.  We, the tax payers, would then find we could not retain the best people.  They would leave to go to better paying banks.

There are so many stupidities in this line of reasoning it boggles my brain that they are all so blithely accepted without comment or question by the  journalists, broadcasters and general chip munching morons.

First let’s just apply the argument to another profession.  Let’s say a teacher who is doing a very good, top flight job in her classroom.  Not only does she not have a the kind of bonus scheme that we are told is absolutely necessary for bankers, but more importantly, no matter how  brilliant our teacher is, she is currently being told that because of the economic situation she can’t have even an at inflation pay rise never mind a bonus.

So Mr Hester and his like must be rewarded extravagantly (his basic salary, before any bonus, is about £1 million) but teachers and the rest of us must accept real terms cuts to our earnings. 

The logic for Mr Hester that it is absolutely necessary to reward those who do a good job far above and beyond  the basic salary which they are being paid presumably for doing … a good job?!

The same logic is NOT applied to the rest of us because … well … you understand we’d love to reward you but times are tough and well … we are all in this together.

Have I got that right?  Have I missed something?

Then there is the – “Oh. Well. I see why you’re upset at this but if we don’t just swallow this unfortunate inequality then we risk losing the best people “- argument.

Once again let’s apply this to our teacher.   If this line of argument is so very important and persuasive WHY have none of the people who make it EVER been heard to worry that teachers and nurses and police detectives and thousands of other rather skilled people will leave their professions because they are NOT being paid bonuses, or even decent salaries, for doing their jobs well?

Speak up Tory boys!  I can’t hear you.  Little louder please so we can all hear.

Why do bankers have a ‘basic’ salary and then a bonus.  While the rest of us just have a ‘salary’?  It seems that a mere ‘salary’ for them is just too ‘basic’.  While for us, it’s all there is.  No one questions.

The argument is that bankers need to be rewarded or they will leave, but neither our leaders nor the bankers give a stuff if good teachers leave their profession nor highly qualified nurses.  Because their children aren’t taught by those common sort of teachers in state schools.  Perish the thought of mixing with the ‘un-bonus-ed’!

Or maybe it just never occured to our leaders and ‘betters’ that the same logic should be applied to us all. 

You see forgive me for getting a little angry but I could have sworn I heard someone say we were all in this together.