Bank of England governor depressed; not many dead

15 January 2013

Mervyn King at the Bank for International Settlements press conferenceOld moneypenny himself, Bank of England head cashier Mervyn King says he’s depressed that bankers will wait until tax rates fall before taking their bonuses for fleecing the world’s economies. Here’s my comment on the Guardian website:

 

Why are they getting bonuses? They are paid a very good salary to manage other people’s money prudently, ensuring a stable rate of return at an agreed level of risk. When this happens smoothly, they get paid a huge bonus. When it goes wrong they get maybe a later tee-off at the golf course, or a mild rebuke at the club over port. The bonus culture is the problem; it is crazy to pay employees to gamble with clients’ money, and when it goes wrong on a vast scale, ruining world economies and causing widespread suffering, they should face severe punishment. Instead it’s simply a slight delay entailing a reduced payment to the inland revenue. Our system is grossly unfair and in urgent need of complete reform. No wonder Merv’s depressed. How does he think we feel?

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