Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Obama caps executive pay

Fat cats pay on bailout businesses to be limited.

It's what millions of people would want to hear from the British government. It's the natural course of action for those banks who were bailed out from the taxpayer to the tune of hundreds of billions. But whereas in Britain they're still tiptoeing about, in the US Barack Obama is going straight to the point.

After dubbing the Wall Street culture of bonuses in times of crisis "shameful", the new President revealed "details of new rules limiting executive pay to $500,000 [still a level that you or me will never understand through our entire lifetime -ed] a year for firms getting a US taxpayer bail-out". The BBC reports that "here was public outcry over $18.4bn in bonuses paid out in 2008 at a time when taxpayer money was propping up the financial system".

"If the taxpayers are helping you, then you've got certain responsibilities to not be living high on the hog," Obama said. As the Reuters agency notes, "the White House aims to hold banking executives accountable for the money they receive from government coffers with the new rules, which were presented as being in the interest of shareholders and taxpayers alike".

Interestingly, while this is front page news in the US, you'll struggle to find any mention in the UK press. Instead, all the headlines are for Obama "screwing up" the nomination process. The question is: why? Could it be that our lovely bankers may want to shield people from overexcitement with ideas of fairness and accountability?


asquith said...

This is what the Repugs mean when they talk about "redistribution", "socialism" (!?) & what have you. They just don't want banker scum having to pay for what they've inflicted on us.

Stan Moss said...

Well said.
Compare Obama in the US with Britain.

The Times online, this morning: "Bailed-out Royal Bank of Scotland bankers set for millions in bonuses"

"The proposed payments are expected to reach tens of millions of pounds — possibly hundreds of millions — with some star bankers in line for six-figure payouts."


Aren't we supposed to be the country of the bulldog, the British spirit and all that crap?