Economist: Bonuses redux Contra cap

The Economist’s Schumpeter says that the British government and the EU should not cap bankers’ bonuses: http://www.economist.com/node/21573008

It’s not about flexibility and bankers’ bonuses: it’s about organizations and people who hold the whole economy hostage and practically every individual, too. Being too big to fail means that every citizen is liable for your debt and your folly. It means that, while we save the bankers’ skin, we also want a say in the way they operate and get compensated. It’s not populism, it’s just logic: if my cleaning woman demands more than she deserves, she doesn’t get it or gets the sack. Why should bankers be different? Because they are so incredibly smart and infallible? Because they can increase fees for any and every banking operation any time they want? In which other field can workers demand gigantic bonuses? Nurses? Doctors? Architects? Pensioners? Teachers? Let’s get reasonable, how can we demand that everybody should pay more tax, work longer, put up with reductions in pay and worsening working conditions, without the government or anybody else standing up for them – while it’s only bankers who deserve that kind of special treatment? For an activity that doesn’t actually provide any benefit to society and a negligible proportion of the national GDP – other than for the people actually working for the banks? Get real, before you start getting a populist blowback, like in the USA, Italy or Greece. Actually, you have a populist blowback already: it’s called UKIP and the BNP – are we waiting for them to come to power, before we start reacting?

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