Category Archives: pay

Bonuses are Large Because They’re Unpredictable

Mike at Rortybomb explains that the whole reason why Wall Street bonuses are so big is that there’s a non-zero chance that they won’t be paid: I’ve heard it from several people that the argument for the bonus is “we … Continue reading

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Whining Executive of the Day, AIG Financial Products Edition

Executives at AIG Financial Products are not happy bunnies these days, and they’re starting to make their views public. Jake DeSantis, for instance, published his resignation letter as a NYT op-ed. But Paul Harriman and his wife, Jan Ellen Harriman, … Continue reading

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Recessionwire, in Theory and Practice

Congratulations to my former colleagues Laura Rich and Sara Clemence for getting the great-looking Recessionwire up and running — and for snagging some very valuable NYT real estate, as well. This is my favorite bit from the NYT article: … Continue reading

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Banker Pay: Salmon vs Barnett

I just had this IM exchange with Megan Barnett: Felix Salmon: Hi Megan, I see you’re attacking the cap on bankers’ pay, while I think it’s a good idea. Megan Barnett: Yes, it’s true. We finally disagree on something. Felix … Continue reading

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Why Capping Pay is Likely to Work

The NYT wheels out an executive-compensation expert today, to predictably pour cold water on the Obama administration’s plans to cap top executives’ pay at half a million bucks a year: “That is pretty draconian — $500,000 is not a lot … Continue reading

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When Bonuses Aren’t Discretionary

It’s becoming increasingly clear that if there’s a problem in the general economy with sticky wages — employers being unable to cut costs by cutting wages, and thereby going bust — then on Wall Street the problem is the other … Continue reading

Posted in banking, pay | 2 Comments

Bonus Scandals Begin to Emerge

The issue of Wall Street bonuses in general, and Merrill Lynch’s bonuses in particular, is only just beginning to heat up. The NYT is scandalized today that bonuses in New York are going to total $18.4 billion — the sixth-largest … Continue reading

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Adding Up the White House Pay Freeze

The Washington Post reckons that Barack Obama has saved the nation about $443,000 by freezing the salaries of any staffers on six-figure salaries. But the real number is surely much less than that — and could be as low as … Continue reading

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Remunerating Managerial Talent

Robert Frank is quite certain about executive pay: Why not limit executive pay? The problem is that although every company wants a talented chief executive, there are only so many to go around. Relative salaries guide job choices… If C.E.O. … Continue reading

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Thain’s Bonus

A bunch of investment-bank CEOs are dangling from a rising hot-air balloon. Dick Fuld, as we know, held on for too long, and by the time he finally let go, there was too far to fall, and he died. Jimmy … Continue reading

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