Financial Regulatory Forum

from Funds Hub:

Rasmussen gives the bankers both barrels

RTXBHPA_Comp.jpgPoul Nyrup Rasmussen's visits to London are always value for money, and today was no exception as the president of the party of European socialists launched into a tirade against banker bonuses.

"When I listen to you it's like you're living in another world," he told an audience of financial executives and journalists at a Chatham House conference after a number of questions from the floor suggested EU plans for tighter regulation might be counter-productive.

"Have you heard about the recession? Do you know that we have lost 7 million jobs in Europe? Do you know that?

"Do you know that thanks to society you're still sitting here. They are the ones who are bailing out the banks and you're still insisting that you should have your bonuses on taxpayers' money.

"Can you understand the seriousness of people's anger? I don't hear any indication of your understanding of that, and that's a problem for you. Because if you don't listen and if you don't honestly go into a discussion on how to make real regulation but insist that you should not have regulation ... that's not a sustainable point.

Swiss regulator cuts UBS bonus pool – report

   GENEVA, Jan 17 (Reuters) – Swiss regulators have cut the proposed bonus pool at UBS <UBSN.VX>, which needed a state rescue in 2008, by about one quarter, Swiss weekly Sonntags-Zeitung said on Sunday. (more…)

Obama proposes U.S. bank fee, slams Wall Street

By Caren Bohan and Alister Bull

WASHINGTON, Jan 14 (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday proposed Wall Street banks pay up to $117 billion to reimburse taxpayers for the financial bailout, as he slammed bankers for their “massive profits and obscene bonuses.”

Striking a populist tone, Obama called for a fee on the biggest U.S banks to “recover every single dime” the government spent rescuing the financial sector from its worst crisis since the Great Depression.

“My determination to achieve this goal is only heightened when I see reports of massive profits and obscene bonuses at some of the very firms who owe their continued existence to the American people,” Obama said, reflecting increasingly harsh rhetoric toward the financial industry.

Obama, New York law chief Cuomo target Wall Street bonuses

By Caren Bohan and Jonathan Stempel

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK, Jan 11 (Reuters) – The White House and and New York’s top prosecutor attacked excessive Wall Street bonuses, as the nation’s biggest banks prepare to hand out awards critics say were made possible by taxpayer bailouts.

A senior U.S. official also confirmed President Barack Obama is considering a fee on financial services firms as part of the fiscal 2011 budget he will unveil in February.

The proposal reflects tougher approach the White House is taking toward Wall Street as it faces rising political heat over its support for the $700 billion financial bailout begun in the Bush administration.

Westlaw Business Analysis: SEC Cracks Down on Holdback of Material Schedules

WLB-logoWestlaw  business applies a legal lens to the SEC’s latest moves (more…)

Goldman top executives to take bonuses in stock

By Steve Eder

NEW YORK, Dec 10 (Reuters) – Goldman Sachs Group Inc plans to pay top managers their 2009 bonuses in stock, rather than cash, as it seeks to deflect outrage over a near-record pay haul months after it repaid billions of dollars in taxpayer aid.

The decision to pay top managers in stock that cannot be sold for five years puts Goldman at the forefront of the push to align Wall Street pay with long-term performance. Still, the firm’s total compensation is on pace to top $20 billion this year.

That figure has put Goldman in the crosshairs of an international debate on pay.

The disappearing Wall St “bonus,” but in name only

   By Karey Wutkowski and Steve Eder
   WASHINGTON, Nov 23 (Reuters) – “Bonus” has become a dirty word on Wall Street, prompting image consultants to advise the biggest financial firms to use euphemisms that carry less stigma as the season of lavish payouts approaches. (more…)

U.S. pay czar vows to rework 2010 AIG bonuses

Kenneth Feinberg, special master for executive compensation under the Troubled Asset Relief Program at the Treasury Department, testifies  before the House Oversight and Government Reform committee during a hearing on ?Executive Compensation: How Much is Too Much?? on Capitol Hill in Washington October 28, 2009. The Obama administration's pay czar said on Wednesday that renegotiating guaranteed bonus contracts at American International Group's AIG Financial Products unit was a top priority for him in 2010.   REUTERS/Yuri Gripas (UNITED STATES POLITICS BUSINESS)   By David Lawder
WASHINGTON, Oct 28 (Reuters) – Renegotiating bonuses to American International Group employees is a “top priority,” the Obama administration’s pay czar said on Wednesday, adding he believes he can do so without losing key employees.

(more…)

U.S. slashes pay at seven bailed out firms, cuts cash up to 90 percent

   WASHINGTON, Oct 22 (Reuters) – The U.S. Treasury’s pay czar on Thursday slashed overall pay by more than half for top earners at seven companies that received massive taxpayer bailouts, and ordered that most of their salaries be paid in the form of long-term company stock. Kenneth Feinberg, charged with approving or renegotiating pay contracts for the 25 highest-paid employees at the seven banks and automakers, said their cash compensation for 2009 would drop by more than 90 percent compared to 2008.

(more…)

FSA says bank bonuses should take account of govt help

   LONDON, Oct 19 (Reuters) – Britain’s financial regulator said on Monday banks should consider their wider responsibility to society and “soft” government guarantees that have helped to support them, before deciding on bonus payouts later this year. (more…)

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