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Executive payout: confused yet?

October 31, 2008

Anyone scratching their heads over executive compensation can be forgiven for being a bit puzzled. These days, it’s hard to keep track of who owes what, which executives are getting a fat bonus, and what might happen if government bailout money reaches bankers’ pockets.

The Wall Street Journal sparked more debate today in a report outlining that the same financial giants getting cash infusions contractually owe executives more than $40 billion in deferred pay, including bonuses.

Now banks are grappling with how to retain and attract top talent without setting off a storm of criticism by angry taxpayers and regulators alike.

Most recently, Rep. Barney Frank issued a dire warning on banks’ use of government money, saying: “Any use of the these funds for any purpose other than lending — for bonuses, for severance pay, for dividends, for acquisitions of other institutions, etc. — is a violation of the terms of the Act.”

Meanwhile, the job situation got a little grimmer today. How grim? Enough that a major Wall Street lobby group had to lay off 25 percent of its staff as the financial crisis spreads.

What’s your take on executive compensation? Share your thoughts below.


Screw’m. Such “top talent” has nearly ruined capitalism & the lives of millions! They are proving Karl Marx right; “Capitalism will fall by t’s own greed.”.

If those boards are looking for “top talent”, feel free to give them my name & email. Bet I’ve got more letters behind my name, plaques on my office wall, & digits in my IQ.
Alas, I have a fatal flaw viewed from their warped sense of values: I care about the CUSTOMERS & OWNERS, not just the employees.

Posted by Ken Thurman, San Francisco, CA | Report as abusive

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