Thursday, February 05, 2009

I'm Flattered ...

Peston, today, quoting Adair Turner on Jan 21 :

There's a double argument why über-bankers should not be paid even a farthing of performance-related remuneration - and this argument can be extrapolated from no less august a source than the recent magisterial speech by Adair Turner, chairman of the Financial Services Authority.

It's that almost every senior banker trousered bonuses over the previous few years on the basis of profits that turn out to be a chimera, an illusion, unreal.

The point - which is implicit in Turner's analysis - is that banks' wholesale banking and treasury operations booked as profit both capital gain and income from assets that have subsequently turned out to be poisonous.

Much of this capital gain never crystallised, it was not converted into cash. Yet bonuses - in the form of hard cash and shares - were paid out on the basis of this nebulous capital gain.

Laban, January 19 :

"Given that most of the banks would be bust without taxpayer guarantees I don't know why they don't just wind them up in a controlled manner, transferring assets and liabilities to the state, before beginning the process of building a case against their boards, freezing their assets and attempting to claw back their bonuses, property and pension funds - on the basis of the effectively fraudulent accounts, based on flawed asset evaluations, which have showed such huge profits over the last ten years."

While the solutions proffered by Robert Peston and Adair Turner ("give the banks lots of taxpayer money") differ in some key respects from mine ("nationalise without compensation and arrest the executives"), I'm chuffed that we seem to agree on what the problem was - and that I said it first !

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well done! Some pundit aired a fun portmanteau word on R4 the other day - it was "bankster".