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To not see the problem with bankers bonuses? Politics of envy?

(186 Posts)
What1 Sun 17-May-15 10:47:51

This is not a thread about a them read but I just read a comment which inspired me to ask ; why do so many people have a problem with bankers bonuses or the high salaries in the City? I mean, these are private institutions (nnot supported by the public ; except for the odd bank), so I just don't see why people think the salaries will affect them.

The way I see it, if they paid less and didn't give bonuses, then the shareholders would get to keep more to themselves and the general public don't benefit anyway (I may be wrong?)

It's just quite annoying reading all these comments which seem to stem from envy. So I have to ask ; why do you (oor people you know) have a problem with big bonuses and high salaries ; AIBU to not care about their salaries and be annoyed by these politics of envy?

Mintyy Sun 17-May-15 10:49:34

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Inkanta Sun 17-May-15 10:49:42

Don't agree it's envy.

YaTalkinToMe Sun 17-May-15 10:50:58

Was there not a bank that needed to be bailed out and then gave big banker bonuses?

twofingerstoGideon Sun 17-May-15 10:53:13

Another one saying it's not envy. Maybe some people have higher moral standards than others?

stargirl1701 Sun 17-May-15 10:53:27

Politics of inequality, I would say. The cleaner in this company works for a contractor on a zero hours, minimum wage contract whilst the CEO earns millions... The differential is bad for society.

Gasp0deTheW0nderD0g Sun 17-May-15 10:54:49

I live in London. My children are now in their 20s. Neither of them is likely to go into the city and earn huge salaries. If they stay in London, it's hard to see how they either of them will be able to buy their own home until they inherit ours. House price inflation in London is largely fuelled by ludicrous city bonuses and it's not good for social cohesion.

We would be a better and fairer society if there wasn't such an enormous gap between the highest and lowest wages.

MovingToAlnwick Sun 17-May-15 10:55:24

No need for that mintyy. If you think op is wrong, just say.

YouTheCat Sun 17-May-15 10:58:22

The bankers and their over-inflated bonuses have royally fucked this country. Even the IFS has said that they were responsible for the crash and subsequent recession.

So, no, not envy. I couldn't live with myself if I had that on my conscience. Luckily, they don't seem to have one. hmm

Mintyy Sun 17-May-15 10:59:30

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Mintyy Sun 17-May-15 11:03:09

I don't feel envious when I read stories like this, I just feel queasy

JamNan Sun 17-May-15 11:03:46

How much of our taxes were used to bail out these inept banks in the crash? Those employees in the financial world have caused no end of trouble for the money markets and the economy in general. If the same incompetence was found in other industries there would be mass dismissals and a government enquiry.

Politics of envy?
A plague on their houses I say .
And they should pay there fucking taxes like we have to!

ThroughThickAndThin01 Sun 17-May-15 11:07:01

It's uncalled for Mintyy, and shutting down debate to call someone stupid. I hope it's deleted. I doubt the OP will be back.

I think there is a need for bonuses, but they are too big. Positively, it means a lot of tax is paid back into the system. And anyone from any background can get into banking, if they have a sharp brain. There is opportunity for rags to riches. Negatively, it does give a big divide between the super rich and the very poor, at the expense of public finances.

That's a bit of a ramble and probably naive, or possibly wrong!

JamNan Sun 17-May-15 11:07:19

George Osborne could be about to admit defeat on the bailout of the Royal Bank of Scotland and swallow a £13.5 billion ($20.89 billion) loss for the UK taxpayer.

The new Conservative government is reportedly considering speeding up the sale of shares in both Lloyds and RBS, Reuters reports, even if it means selling RBS shares at a loss.

Read more:

PausingFlatly Sun 17-May-15 11:08:01

Yes, you are wrong.

Bankers' pay has been incentivising behaviour detrimental to the real economy.

GreenAugustLion Sun 17-May-15 11:09:33

I agree op...although maybe I'm biased because I work in banking.

People are paid a salary and bonus based on performance and the market rate for that roles.

Generally people's opinion of 'bankers bonuses' and the financial crash are hugely simplified and wrong. It would be nice if we could pin the whole sorry mess on a couple of greedy CEO's earning millions, but it's not that simple.

The whole culture of over-lending, sales maximisation and so on had been building for years, influenced by consumer demand, the U.S discovering their sub prime market, by the piss poor banking regulation in place in the UK pre-2008, by the complete lack of regulation by the BOE and HMRC Treasury.

The vast majority of individual bankers, those in the City earning £££ (except in cases of blatant misselling/bad advice which is actually pretty rare) were complying with the rules and regs they'd had set for them.

NotDavidTennant Sun 17-May-15 11:09:54

The fact that banks have remuneration structures which encourage bankers to seek short-term profits without regard to the long-term stability of the bank itself was a contributory factor to the banking crisis which brought our economy to its knees. I also suspect that the prospect of receiving huge bonuses for short-term returns strongly incentives bankers to engage in unethical, and in some cases outright fraudulent, activity (e.g. Libor and foreign exchange rigging).

FlabulousChix Sun 17-May-15 11:11:37

My son is an investment banker. He has no life outside of work. Working 14 hour days from 6am. He is 27 he deserves every penny he earns and he pays half in tax.

blueshoes Sun 17-May-15 11:11:42

Lots of generalisations on this thread.

Bankers are not one amorphous mess. Some bankers behaved appallingly and continued to earn high amounts for failure. Similar to some council heads and public servants. Save that the former is not paid out of the public purse. I am not apologising for either category.

Squeegle Sun 17-May-15 11:13:08

Where do people think the bankers bonuses come from? They do not generate any products themselves- it is all from "deals". for example acquisitions of companies that then trim down - for example nestle buying cadburys etc. Or credit and mortgage being given to those who can't really afford them, and financing companies like wonga who exist solely to take advantage of vulnerable people.

It all results in "normal people" becoming pawns in multinational greed, and not having any choice.

And that's why they are seen as parasites. It takes away from the rest of society.

butterfly133 Sun 17-May-15 11:15:11

OP, there are a few issues here. I dislike the term "politics of envy" as I think it's one of a set of many simplistic terms, favoured by the media, which serve to hide the details - often the details are the most important part.

Why are people annoyed about bankers' bonuses (and salaries)? Well, here is a list of reasons why I believe they need to be controlled. I think bankers' bonuses in particular have become a symbol of a wider problem, so I address these remarks to the wider problems.

1) Now that we no longer have a finite money supply, merchant banks, private banks, hedge funds etc have a huge amount of influence in how our money markets work, enabling them to lead to crashes and problems like Northern Rock. A bank should be a place where you can guarantee your money is safe from crazy risk building such as that practised by NR.

2) Money markets are designed to build a huge amount of capital from capital - people who are unable to amass a large amount e.g. nurses, doing a much more important job, don't have these advantages and society doesn't value them. So what we do is make the rich richer and the poor poorer and then....

3) ....we create massive tax breaks so that people who are amassing wealth through the financial system - not through work that brings a benefit to anyone - are able to get out of paying tax. I'm not asking for these people to be over-taxed but in many cases they can pay about 2%. They should be paying the way ordinary people, without access to tax havens and lawyers, pay. My interest on my bank account is taxed just as my income is taxed (apart from the ISA allowance). Why doesn't the same apply to them?

4) Rewards for failure - the bosses at the top of even the failing banks which required bailouts pocketed a lot of money while other ordinary workers lost their jobs.

I think bankers are part of a huge problem we have and they became symbolic because of their contribution to the crash. Add to this the way everything is set up so that shareholders and dividends take priority and you have a set up which ensures that the most vulnerable lose out. We also let companies get out of paying a reasonable amount of tax and people like the Network Rail guy get rewarded for massive failures.

I don't believe the bankers are to blame for everything - governments need to take steps to address all this unfairness. I would have voted for any party who was going to address it but it appears no one is willing to touch the super rich.

to reiterate - I'm not asking for the super rich to be heavily penalised, but I am asking that they pay the same tax as I do. Also, heavier bank regulation would help prevent another set of economic chaos. You might be interested in reading Who Runs Britain? by Robert Peston.

this issue is obviously very emotive and I have been frustrated in the past when trying to find answers. The first thing is to ditch the phrase "politics of envy". A bit of logic is what is needed here, and possibly readdressing things like CGT so they work more like income tax? This argument of "I worked hard for that money" applies to my wages, but it doesn't really apply to my investments, does it? They sit there and work hard for me.

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Sun 17-May-15 11:15:17

There were and are problems around the bonus system in banking at the higher end of the corporate tree encouraging undesirable thinking and behaviours.

What pausingflatley said basically.

Many private companies also believe in corporate responsibility, and try to practice what that preach to a greater or lesser extent. This seems to be missing in this particular sector of the financial services industry.

PausingFlatly Sun 17-May-15 11:15:57

"were complying with the rules and regs they'd had set for them."

Which is why many people think those rules and regs should not be "piss poor", as you so rightly put it.

If you want to work to the letter of the regs, then the regs you shall have.

Twasthecatthatdidit Sun 17-May-15 11:16:11

Mintyy, if you call an OP stupid, without giving any reasons why you think she's wrong, then I'm afraid it is you who look stupid.
You should be able to explain your position.

HowardTJMoon Sun 17-May-15 11:16:55

The way that many banker's bonuses are structured encourages short-term profits over long-term economic stability. Given how important the financial services industry has become for the UK economy this short-termist outlook doesn't just damage the banks it damages our entire economy.

We are still suffering the effects of the 2008 crash that was directly caused by the financial services industry. Anything that encourages that bunch of crooks, charlatans and imbeciles to continue making bad decisions because it makes them a quick buck should be discouraged.

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