Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Can You Hear That?

It's the sound of Wall Street guys and gals updating their resumes.

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is expected to impose a cap of $500,000 for top executives at companies that receive large amounts of bailout money, according to people familiar with the plan.

This is a tough spot. If you work at a big bank right now, nobody is going to feel sorry for you. If you make $500,000 per year, nobody is going to feel sorry for you. If you're very talented, and currently at a big bank looking at making $500,000 for the foreseeable future, you're probably thinking about going somewhere else.

A disappointing side note is the fact that Obama chose to tackle executive compensation before the stimulus plan. I don't think that history is going to look kindly on this populist angle.


Anonymous said...

Will Obama cap the proceeds from his next book or Michelle's for that matter at $500K? What about the other liberals calling for this cap, how will they cap thier take home from endorsements, speaking engagements and the like in the future? This is pure politics and business as usual. Nominate two tax cheats and a woman trying to pay help under the table, take a beating in the press--go to the playbook that says rally the masses. This could get really ugly!

Anonymous said...

You're right I don't feel sorry for them. This is what happens when you shit the bed and ask to be rescued. Things get stinky. And as far as bonuses are concerned..I understand the flexible compensation concept and low base pay strategy, but these bankers should look back at their comp from the previous years when they cashed in on the bad investments and then judge whether a low or no bonus for 2008 is fair (the 5 yr average is probably still pretty good). Not to mention that the downward variability of bonuses is capped at zero no matter how bad the results - probably fair too. BTW Obama isn't the one asking for a handout, the finacial industry did and created this mess in the first place. To the ardent capitalists/resume preparers out there...what are they worried about, the marketplace will pay them what they're worth (their concept), but it may not be what they expect and they may have to slum it on main street. I think liberals have lots of warts too, but it cannot be business as usual on Wall Street.