Most Bankers Do Try Hard To Do A Decent Job

Here's the latest from our Highly Placed Professional.

So EU lawmakers are worried about big cash bonuses for us City folk, are they ? They argue that this will encourage us to loll around at our desks, taking the odd massive punt, knowing we will be paid out anyway. But what they fail to understand is that there really are many good reasons for bankers to behave responsibly, even if they are a party to short-term incentive schemes.

Some commentators out there seem to think we turn up, try to do as little as possible, take a few outlandish bets with lots of added risk and leverage, and then collect large amounts of cash. And all this after lunch, and having decimated Western society!

The fact is that the majority of City professionals do their job for the love of the chase, the thrill of making money for themselves and their firm, and most importantly because they want to keep their positions and careers. And most of us actually want to help our clients too.

A slavish adherence to the idea that bonuses and large base salaries are intrinsically bad simply misses the point. What we need is a system of checks and balances, especially in the realm of management and risk taking, which effectively strips people of remuneration if they behave irresponsibly, and prevents them from working in the industry ever again if they fall short of what is expected. And no firm should be allowed to become (or remain) 'too big to fail'.

But what we don't need are interfering EU lawmakers, who clearly wouldn't know the first thing about what motivates people in the private sector. They should stick to worrying about the price of carrots!

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