Wednesday, 25 March 2009
Bankers contracts & common justice -4
There were lots of stories & comments in last Saturdays FT about the US politicians proposal for a 90% rate of tax on excessive earnings. I have argued in earlier posts that this is the kind of measure that should be applied. It can be cut back after a few years once it is clear that the message has been absorbed. The message is a simple one. Why on earth should financial services people be exempt from the pain that everyone else is suffering as a direct result of financial services actions? There is, as yet, very little sign that the financial industry is even prepared to recognise that it screwed up. Most of the comment is about 'global', 'couldn't be foreseen', 'not my fault mate - was the other guy' etc. Personally I am hugely encouraged by the shrieks of pain now emerging from the sector in response to this proposal. The counter argument is that we need the talents of those that got us into this mess to get us out of it. What rot. The people who are grafting away to salvage & recover what they can from the wreckage are not getting paid these obscene amounts of mony anyway. When I was working as a professional engineer, if I had been responsible for constructing something that fell to bits I'd never have been asked to supervise its' reconstruction, even if I was best placed to know what had gone wrong. Why is money so different?