Graphic: Banking compensation

September 23, 2009


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GREED, is the American way. A country without a conscience, that sees life as a competition instead of cooperation. It is disgusting and it is shameful.

Posted by Theo | Report as abusive

So, what else is wrong. Somehow these CEO’s and their boards of directors think that they are worth all this money. After a system gets up and running it is pretty simple to keep the profits coming. One man does not make a decision that turns the company around.

Right now we are still thinking that the recession is over, but it is not. We have Mr Hoover in the White House saying that prosperity is just around the corner. Mr Hoover, I fear that that corner is further away than any of us think. You can’t fix things with words. We must have reform before we can move forward.

Posted by f belz | Report as abusive

A private company can do whatever it wants with it’s money. They worked for years to make it’s money and now you want to say that all of the US is reflective of this simple graph? Please, go back rethink your comment.

Posted by Anounymous | Report as abusive

Apparently it’s also the Spanish, Canadian, and Austrialian way? They aren’t far off.

Posted by Gavin | Report as abusive

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Not an apples to apples compare. Banking in china is totally state-owned ‘non-democratized’ institution. Article should compare with other European/Australian banks.

Posted by ObjectiveRdr | Report as abusive

i hope obama changes this greed banking system.

Posted by neeku | Report as abusive

A comparison between a state owned Chinese bank, and a privately owned one, as we see in this chart, and in the Reuters article  /idUSTRE58M2QU20090923?sp=true

is fundamentally absurd. The head of the US “Federal Bank” is paid less as well. A genuinely private bank has a much more complex and diverse set of tasks before it, and the pay for managing such is correspondingly higher. Both the US Federal bank, and the State Owned Chinese Banks have made massive errors at various times, or have been pressed into policies that are unsustainable by their respective governments, but the existence of these banks, and the security of the jobs at these banks are not at risk because of this. Risk and reward are linked, an a private bank is at risk in a way that an organ of the state is not.

Posted by Daniel B | Report as abusive

Americans in general are paid more for every function when compared with the world at large. Isn’t that fundamental to the so called properity of the developed world ?

I understand that the disparity is more alarming here but the ratios are possibly similar if you compare pays for doctors, health care managers etc across the world.

Also part of the compensation has to be attributed to what the culture values. For example, Film Stars and Politicians ( through legal or means otherwise) make a lot more money in Asian countries than the rest of the world.

Posted by Bala | Report as abusive

Err… excuse me, but $250 000 per year is NOT nothing… it’s ONLY what the top 1% of earners make in a year

And $10 000 000 per year or some $45 000 per day is not just outsized for any big brain… it’s pure shameful. Especially given that it’s the taxpayer that’s footing the bill for these “big brains”.

Posted by Alain – Paris | Report as abusive

It’s so shocking that the government employee that runs the government controlled bank in a communist (people’s republic, whatever) country will have 1. the largest market cap and 2. virtually the lowest paid CEO. A person who takes this job in the hopes of a larger more powerful government position in the future. Its a fundamentally different structure which is obvious to anyone who doesn’t blindly demonize everyone with a larger income.

As a percent of market cap the US is not far off the rest of the world (lower in some instances, Canada and Australia, excluding the virtually irrelevant Chinese numbers.

Do you really want state run banks and industries? I don’t.

Posted by Hello | Report as abusive

Let it be noted that the American people are fed up with this garbage, and that there is a severe disconnect between the will of the people and what is actually happening. Funny how the same monopolies that were supposedly broken up by the government during the Industrial Revolution are now being bathed in our tax dollars. This is a testament to the level of corruption at high levels. The only people that will stand for this are the welfare leeches who would welcome more socialism at the expense of our freedom paid in blood by our forefathers, and methodically chipped away through the sands of time by an organized family syndicate. A revolution is long overdue, but the ruse of freedom and democracy in a supposed republic do well to keep the masses fast asleep.

Posted by Jack Napier | Report as abusive

The title of the article is misleading. If you exclude the Chinse banks American compensation does not “dwarf” the compensation of other countries’ CEO’s. From the chart shown in the article American CEO’s make 11.24% of their respective companies market capitalisation for the year. The other countries’ CEO’s make 6.69% of their companies market capitalization.

I agree that US CEO’s identified in this chart are compensated more than they deserve but the other countries’ CEO’s are not far behind. The G20 summit has a lot of problems in common when is comes to excessive CEO pay. The US is just the worst of the bad offenders. All except China of course. But they have a lot of others problems to worry about.

Posted by John Rocha | Report as abusive

Not reflected in this chart are bonuses. Citi gave Vikram what, 100 million dollars? Add that to his bar and then check the pay disparity.

Posted by Dylan | Report as abusive

@John Rocha,

Your math is wrong. Its charted as thousands in compensation vs. billions of market cap. its 0.01124%. Canada and Australia aren’t materially different from the US considering market cap to CEO pay.


The chart specifies at the bottom that bonuses, options, stock awards, and other perks of the year 2008 paid by the company are included.

Posted by hello | Report as abusive

Capping the salaries of employees at a private business is the ultimate government intrusion in the economy. America used to be the land of opportunity, where there were no limits on what a person could earn. Besides, I’m surprised that bank CEO pay is so low. $20m per year is not that much compared with what a lot of non-bankers make. How are these guys supposed to become billionaires on a paltry paycheck like that? If we want the best and brightest to control allocation of resources for economic growth (which is what bankers do), then we need to pay them a lot.

Posted by Anonymous | Report as abusive

19 millions, that’s ok for the bankers comparing with those CEO and senior personnel in technology industry where they are doing more revolutionary work to help the economy advance in term of time and space efficiency instead of just re-allocation of resources and more often, hijack the re-allocation efficiency to become their own profits!

Bankers never do anything for real economic growth and advancement of civilization. It is the average Joe and entrepreneurs who think of new ways to improve the life of everyone, every Americans and then their those parasitic bankers come out and steal a portion of the profits from those successful Joe. If we remove bankers from this equation and replace it with whatever other entities (more objective and less corrupted entities) to do the job, the world would be a lot better!

Posted by Rose Eli | Report as abusive

Anonymous : “How are these guys supposed to become billionaires on a paltry paycheck like that?”

>> Are these guys supposed to become billionaires? Why? Who said? While 45 million Americans are “supposed” to be without health insurance? What planet do you live on?

Anonymous : “If we want the best and brightest to control allocation of resources for economic growth (which is what bankers do), then we need to pay them a lot.”

>> If this is what bankers do, then why are we in such a mess today? You really DO live on another planet…

Posted by Alain – Paris | Report as abusive

These baby boomer white men who love diversity and who benefited in the past and benefit in the present should be forced to pay for modern diversity out of their own pay. It is time to stop blaming younger white men for the worlds problems. We didn’t cause them. Hopefully the west in general will collapse soon. And with it special rights for women.

Posted by Kevin | Report as abusive


Posted by david | Report as abusive

Interestingly, I have created intellectual property that is undisputedly valued over 2 billion dollars, though I received no benefit from the pirated system. My next system has secured a major argument between corporate powerhouses and I am (“begging”) for a $250,000.00 allowance, annual retainer from some of the same bankers now deciding how to divide the benefit of my next PATENTED system(s).

I am forced to live with my family, drive on bald chinese tires, live on corn flakes and zero money to entertain myself, let alone others.

while the people ‘holding it all up’ are all making a multiple excess of my extremely modest request(s).

Maybe the Pay Zar should tell Jamie that I should get MORE MONEY than that what I have requested. Because if someone did a CHART on my compensation, they would see that I have not requested ENOUGH COMPENSATION.

There will be plenty-plenty left for the bankers to divide among their jet-setting bonus minded ahem capitalists.

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This explicitly show one of the reasons that we cannot compete against China. They are a government subsidized country who unfairly pays their employees a low compensation compared to the excessive executive perks and salaries in the United States. Another place that they unfairly compete is because the state provides housing, transportation, health and welfare, and education for free. They also pay the factory and other employees a wage that is about 1/6th of what it is here in the US. They are using their system to out compete us and our business leaders are so gullible that they are falling for the trap very easily. Why do so many executives give lip service to competition in that they believe in it. If they did they would promptly lower their executive compensation to rival the Chinese. They would also start to buy things that are made in the USA by shopping around. There are a lot of things still made here that are competitive and where companies do not have to pay excise taxes and shipping. Don’t you think it is time that we actually started practicing competition!

Posted by builder7 | Report as abusive

[…] a fascinating table from Reuters (albeit slightly out of date): a ranking of the world’s biggest banks, along […]

Posted by FT Alphaville » Comp v market cap – banks around the world | Report as abusive