The European Central Bank, which has championed fiscal austerity across the continent, has scolded Romania’s government for forcing a 25 per cent pay cut on employees of the country’s central bank, the FT reports. In a strongly-worded statement, the ECB on Monday warned that Romania’s actions violated EU treaties allowing monetary authorities to operate freely and without political interference.
Bloomberg’s “Finance 50″ ranking of the best paid CEOs of America’s 50 top financial companies — and Wall Street’s finest would dearly love to be at the bottom. They may have got their wish, FT Alphaville writes. Read more
Nick Clegg, Liberal Democrat leader, will unveil on Tuesday plans to crack down on banker excess by banning all bonuses at board level and stopping loss-making banks from paying discretionary bonuses, the FT reports. The pledge to “bring the bonus culture under control” comes as the three main parties compete to impress voters by taking the toughest stance on City pay.
Robert Benmosche received $2.7m in cash and shares for five months’ work at the helm of AIG in 2009, the insurer revealed on Monday in a filing that criticised the US government, its biggest shareholder, for keeping a lid on pay, the FT says. AIG’s comments underline the tension between its management and the government’s pay tsar, who has to vet the packages of its 100 best-paid employees.
Bart Becht, the best-paid chief executive in the FTSE 100, walked away with £92m last year after a decade-long run of stellar stockmarket performance at Reckitt Benckiser delivered him big gains from share options. But at a time of widespread opprobrium for highly paid chief executives, large shareholders of the consumer products company he runs have not begrudged Mr Becht his pay-out, says the FT.
Seven months after the Group of 20 nations pledged to force banks to link pay to risk, a split is emerging between European and North American regulators, who have cracked down hard, and a group of developing nations — including Brazil, Mexico, Russia and India — moving far more slowly, a report card issued by the Financial Stability Board on Tuesday shows.
Alistair Darling is considoring the possibility of giving shareholders veto rights over bankers’ bonuses, Bloomberg News reports, citing a government official. The UK chancellor will consult on the proposal, which could give shareholders a seperate vote over pay in annual general meetings. The official said the plan would make it easier to oppose pay packages “deemed unreasonable”.
Ken Feinberg, the US pay czar, is launching a fresh review of bonuses paid by banks including Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan and other recipients of bail-out funds. Mr Feinberg will write on Tuesday to 419 companies that accepted money from the government’s troubled asset relief programme to enquire about 2008 bonuses, according to people familiar with his plans. He will seek information on pay for the top 25 earners at those companies.
Royal Bank of Scotland on Thursday unveiled a tougher reward scheme for senior executives built around a range of performance measures. The new incentive plan published in RBS’s annual report could pay as much as £4.9m ($7.5m) to CEO Stephen Hester. It is linked to a measure of the bank’s profits as well as its share price, and is therefore more sophisticated than the two previous pay schemes, which were based purely on shares hitting a certain level.
Is it the £500,000 your bank, or otherwise reviled-financial institution, pays you each year?
Or the negative £3.5m you contribute to society? Read more
Confirming what everyone in the UK — land of the obscenely paid footballer — already knew, veteran banking analyst Richard Bove has authored a piece of research illustrating that bankers do not make as much as those in professional sports.
The Rochdale Securities analyst compared the salaries of the top 15 individual players in (American) sports, the top 15 non-financial execs, and the top 15 in finance. The results are in the table on the left, click to enlarge. Read more
London bankers’ mighty pay has fallen from the highest level among global financial centers to the lowest, with Wall Street financiers grabbing the top spot, a poll showed on Sunday. Read more
From The Baseline Scenario, using data from an NYT article. Click to enlarge.
Dare we put up a bubble chart? Apparently we do. From Zero Hedge.
The Merrill bubble – Zero Hedge
Salaries from a bygone era – FT Alphaville
It’s a while since we’ve heard from The Epicurean Dealmaker. Maybe he’s retired, hurt.
But this should fix that – a snap blog at FT.com to debate the vexed issue of bankers’ bonuses. Read more
In a bid to help out the cash-strapped mistresses of the universe referenced here we thought this list of alternative high-paying careers might be worth publishing (HT to eFinancialCareers who just sent out the memo in its latest subscriber update). As they put it:
Wondering what to do while you wait for investment banks to rise from the ashes? Courtesy of the UK Office of National Statistics, here are the mean salaries for the 20 best paying jobs for men working full time in the UK during 2008. Read more
The below graph comes from this authoritative study of financial service industry wages in the US by Thomas Philippon and Ariell Reshef, which has just been published as an NBER working paper.
(It’s the same study that the NYT’s Floyd Norris wrote about over the weekend.) Read more
Want to know what your (less discreet) investment banking peers are making in these troubled times?
Fashion meets Finance, the social service that aims to
match attractive but relatively poor women with relatively unattractive but rich finance professionals correct gender imbalances between New York bar scenes, is holding their next event on January 22nd and attendees have RSVPd — with their salary details. Read more
Read last week’s Pandit memo?
If you did, you just might have been curious to know the details of the new “approaches to executive compensation” that the US government has outlined “consistent with their objective as an investor in Citi”. Read more
So, how much do you make? And what’s it really like working for (insert-name-here)?
Don’t worry, there’s no need to tell us, because now we can
satisfy our voyeuristic urges do the research over at Glassdoor.com, a brand spanking new “career and workplace community where anyone can find and anonymously share real-time reviews, ratings and salary details about specific jobs for specific employers — for free.” Read more