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Should City Workers Voluntarily Return their Bonuses to the State?

(114 Posts)
rabbitstew Fri 26-Nov-10 12:47:23

Would that be the Big Society in action? ie an acceptance that the City owes the State a lot of money at the moment which it is only refusing to return in the form of not paying out bonuses because it argues that the problems we now have are not the responsibility of any one individual.

And do City workers genuinely believe they only do a good job in order to get a huge bonus? That it is only the scent of money that makes them financially astute? It's not as if that theory has worked very well to date...

(yes, this is a flagrant attempt to carry on my Big Society thread...).

rabbitstew Fri 26-Nov-10 12:50:09

ie, since this is clearly slightly warped logic if the City continues avoiding tax at every opportunity, that the City will not cave in if its workers do not stand up against the collective.

rabbitstew Fri 26-Nov-10 12:52:55

Are there any bankers out there who even feel the slightest sense of guilt that they are accepting their employers' increasingly large bonuses in the current financial climate? Is their morale more important than everyone else's?????

rabbitstew Fri 26-Nov-10 12:56:06

We could even let them have their bonuses back when the country is back on a more even keel... in the meantime, their donated money might help everyone else feel a bit more inclined to help out, too.

rabbitstew Fri 26-Nov-10 12:58:01

We all know why bonuses are really paid - to lower the risk of greedy and selfish people stealing it, instead.

rabbitstew Fri 26-Nov-10 13:04:54

If a large body of socially-conscious bankers publicly gave almost the entirety of their bonuses to HM Revenue & Customs, I know I would feel less used when I spend a large part of my time volunteering. It would allow me to believe again that you don't have to be utterly selfish to work in the City, even if the City is necessarily utterly selfish.

rabbitstew Fri 26-Nov-10 13:06:16

Or are they trapped into accepting the money because if they give it back, then the whole City infrastructure crumbles, because it no longer has internal support for its methods???

rabbitstew Fri 26-Nov-10 13:12:40

Do I have to accept that I will always be stuck in a society where the greedy and powerful must necessarily get away with it, whereas the greedy and weak must be punished severely? ie do we have to live in an unfair society in order to enable progress for the majority at the expense of the minority? Or does this attitude simply increase the numbers of the minority, because the greedy minority at the top are taking away too much, too much at the expense of absolutely everyone else, and thus advertising that greed is what gets you on in life. Certainly at the moment, all the cuts we ARE getting seem to be sending out that message, because there simply are not enough cuts at the top - just cuts in everything in the middle and at the bottom.

rabbitstew Fri 26-Nov-10 13:34:37

(And no, I don't really think that it is only City workers, or even all City workers, that are at the top of the pile. And I used to work in the City, myself. I know if I still were, I would be feeling acutely uncomfortable at the moment!

rabbitstew Fri 26-Nov-10 13:36:00

In other words, I think the problem is that it is always someone else's fault and if everyone thinks that then nobody tries to fix it.

rabbitstew Fri 26-Nov-10 13:40:53

But I also think some people are too complacent and think that because it is nobody's fault in particular, then they personally don't have to do anything about it.

MimsyRogers Fri 26-Nov-10 13:45:31

hi rabbitstew, you seem a bit lonely

MimsyRogers Fri 26-Nov-10 13:51:57

I used to work for a bank... and yes if I still did and I received a bonus I would feel thoroughly ashamed to accept it. But I think that only applies to the bailed out banks. The banks which did not receive any government money should be able to do as they please. It is outrageous that bailed out banks can still pay big bonuses while they owe the taxpayer billions.

rabbitstew Fri 26-Nov-10 13:55:15

Not lonely, but thank you! Just trying to provoke debate in the hope we'll come up with some solutions and agreement!!!!

susie100 Fri 26-Nov-10 14:15:02

No I don't (disclaimer, I am NOT a banker)

Banks were bailed out (including Northern Rock which had no 'casino' department other than lending too much money to people who could not afford it) because without a stabel banking system ALL sectors and industries go into free fall.

If you cannot deposit money safely, you have no economy. Everyone would have suffered ethe fall out - nurses, small businesses, builders, EVERYONE!

The media and large swathes of society have very little understanding of what banks do, who 'bankers' are and what caused the cirsi. It was not jsut the bankers. The government and many other sectors were complicit and gained and encouraged from cheap credit. As did many individuals.

It is convenient and politically expedient to have a nice little group to scapegoat for the crisis.

If you expect bankers to give back their bonuses what about lawyers, management consultants, footballers, small entrepeneurs etc? Why just the bankers? Why not have everyone earn the same amount and everything else goes back to society, oh wait sorry that is communism and it does not work.

If you make UK uncompeitive place for financial services itts not just greedy bankers (who you may say good riddance to) that you are puttin goff doing busienss here. Its the 1000s of related businesses and counterparties. You are also going to lose a huge chunk of tax revenue.

I think so much chat about bankers bonus is simplistic in the extreme.

susie100 Fri 26-Nov-10 14:17:13

The bail out is also the best investment the govn will make, we will make back all the money and then some.

rabbitstew Fri 26-Nov-10 14:35:47

I also think it is convenient and politically expedient - and provoked by press headlines. Encouraging our lowest feelings. But unless we talk about these feelings constructively, we actually start to believe they make sense! Can politicians and the media not try to be a bit more balanced when they report things???

rabbitstew Fri 26-Nov-10 14:36:50

And I mean ALL media. I'm sure some newspapers, etc, try to be a little bit more balanced and less simplistic.

rabbitstew Fri 26-Nov-10 14:38:56

And politicians shouldn't be quite so confrontational with each other, even if there is a mob out there who are baying for blood.

Mandy3 Fri 26-Nov-10 16:34:42

Great post Susie 100. And no - I'm not a banker either - just somebody who wants an honest debate with a bit less cant on this issue.

smallwhitecat Fri 26-Nov-10 16:37:39

Message withdrawn

lucky1979 Fri 26-Nov-10 16:42:02

Don't they give 50% of it back in tax already?

pagwatch Fri 26-Nov-10 16:43:21

I can't get past the city workers sweeping stereotype. Most of my staff used their bonuses to have a holiday or pay their train commute.

A small ppn of people, some of whom are based in city, got ridiculous bonuses. Lots of people in the city are not involved in any kind of banking. The bulk of people in the city are ordinary office workers.

smallwhitecat Fri 26-Nov-10 16:45:39

Message withdrawn

Allthetimethinking Fri 26-Nov-10 16:48:06

I don't blame the banks. I blame the people who borrowed far too much money. Dream of home ownership. People self certifying. Borrowing way too huger multiples. These were the underlying assets in those 'toxic' cdos.

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