8/01/2009

Fat bonuses even when incurring losses

The robbing of the minority shareholders continues in Wall Street. Washington Post and Associated Press reported that 9 of the biggest banks in the US paid out US$32.6b in bonuses despite the banks running into huge losses. The following are the stats: 1. BOA $4b profit $3.3b bonus 2. B of New York Mellon $1.4b profit $945m bonus 3. Citigroup $27.7b loss $5.3b bonus 4. Goldman Sachs $2.3b profit $4.8b bonus 5. JP Morgan Chase $5.6b profit $8.7b bonus 6. Merrill Lynch $27.7b loss $3.6b bonus 7.Morgan Stanley $1.7b profit $4.5b bonus 8. State Street $1.8b profit $470m bonus 9. Wells Fargo $42.9b loss $977.5m bonus The above stats show how sick the is the world of top paying employees. Regardless of how they performed, regardless of whether the company is making of losing money, they pay themselves first. This state of affair is made possible when the minority shareholders lost control of the organisation. And the top management is practically at will to rob them of whatever they want. There is no law against this kind of daylight robbery. And the money robbed or paid to the top management is legal, above board, transparent, cannot be challenged in court, as they are duly approved by the board or within the organisation's approving procedures. This is stealing legally. No corruption. And the top management will strut around with heads held high, no need to feel any sense of guilt or shame. It is the fault of the minority shareholders for surrendering their rights to their money. Raiding corporate treasury is now a legal and acceptable practice in most western model organisations. I quote this from the report, 'When the banks did well, their employees were paid well,...when the banks did poorly, their employees were paid well. And when the banks did very poorly, they were bailed out by taxpayers and their employees were still paid well.' Very familiar story. The question is, shall we learn from the Americans and continue to pay top management this way? Or shall we learn from the Americans who are trying to table a bill to put a stop to this daylight robbery?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is a perverted form of business; siphoning money legally from customers.

rookielim said...

Redbean,

Singapore GLCs are known copycats of western craps. We have already adopted the screwed-up system. I am reminded that the CEO of Capitaland get paid 20+millions as bonus last year and then within a few months, the company reports a loss of 157 millions in one quarter. I am too stupid to comprehend the logic behind this. I suspect the senior officers in temasek also get paid big fat bonuses albeit ho jinx claims they get paid negative bonus (whatever this means) for their monumental fcuk ups...

redbean said...

hi rookielim, being copycats can short cut a lot of processes and can be good. important thing is what is one copying, the good stuff or the bad stuff.