Pro:You answered your country’s call and you are taking a tremendous beating for it. ...
Con: I know that because of hard work I have benefited more than most during the economic boom and have saved enough that my family is unlikely to suffer devastating losses during the current bust.
"Another bonus battle flared up today as a key lawmaker and government-controlled mortgage giant, Fannie Mae, crossed swords over the controversial money awards.
Fannie Mae's chief executive sent employees an e-mail message defending the company's bonus program while Representative Barney Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts, countered with a demand that such bonuses be completely scrapped.
...Herbert Allison -- who took over at Fannie Mae last fall and works without a salary -- proclaimed his view in an e-mail to employees. Fannie's spokesman, Brian Faith, did not return calls for comment.
'I am deeply concerned that eliminating our retention plan would jeopardize our ability to fulfill the mission the government has given us to address the housing crisis,' he wrote employees.
Noting that Fannie is charged with preventing housing foreclosures, he said the bonuses were needed to 'ensure we maintain the skills and experience we need to help keep the mortgage market operating.'
Pshaw -- in a word -- said Frank, who chairs the House Financial Services Committee. He wrote Fannie's regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, urging it to rescind the retention bonus programs, bar future bonuses, and recover any bonuses already paid.
'I remain very skeptical that retaining and rewarding people who made the mistakes that contributed to the unsatisfactory performance is a good idea,' he wrote in a letter released today.
Plus -- given the troubled economy and job market -- 'it is difficult to imagine that the companies would not be able to find competent and talented replacements for anyone who chooses to leave,' he said."
We need more – and better – maths to underpin individual banks and the enhanced regulatory regime that will oversee them. Some of the expertise required is already out there waiting to be put to use...
Contrary to Lord Turner’s assertion, the banks’ sums were not sophisticated enough. They over-simplified, and assumed away the limitations and caveats of their models. They did this to convey an illusion of accuracy and precision, and so convince the market that they had everything under control.
For too long the ruling class have enjoyed an extended New Years Eve Party
whilst we can only watch, faces pressed up against the glass
The Housemartins say:
Don't try gate crashing a party full of bankers. Burn the house down.
I see the Geithner plan as being relevant only to banks that are solvent. For those that are found - after stress tests - to be insolvent I see as the proper solution - -as I have widely written - to nationalize them and thus clean them up to prepare them for re-privatization.
The stress test should do a triage between banks that are illiquid and undercapitalized but solvent given the provision of capital and liquidity and those that, under a reasonable stress scenario are effectively insolvent. Those that are insolvent should be nationalized.
After 12 months of hard work dismantling the company — during which A.I.G. reassured us many times we would be rewarded in March 2009 — we in the financial products unit have been betrayed by A.I.G. and are being unfairly persecuted by elected officials. In response to this, I will now leave the company and donate my entire post-tax retention payment to those suffering from the global economic downturn. My intent is to keep none of the money myself.
You’ve now asked the current employees of A.I.G.-F.P. to repay these earnings. As you can imagine, there has been a tremendous amount of serious thought and heated discussion about how we should respond to this breach of trust.
As most of us have done nothing wrong, guilt is not a motivation to surrender our earnings. We have worked 12 long months under these contracts and now deserve to be paid as promised.
I’ll continue over the short term to help make sure no balls are dropped, but after what’s happened this past week I can’t remain much longer — there is too much bad blood. I’m not sure how you will greet my resignation, but at least Attorney General Blumenthal should be relieved that I’ll leave under my own power and will not need to be “shoved out the door.”
Hey Jake, it's not like you were curing cancer. You were a fucking commodities trader. Thanks to a completely insane, horribly skewed set of societal values that puts a premium on greed and severely undervalues selflessness, communal spirit, and intellectualism -- values that make millionaires out of people like you and leave teachers and nurses, the people who raise your kids and clean your parents' bedpans, comparatively penniless -- you made a lot of money.
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