Sunday, September 6, 2009

G20 Looks at Bonus Reforms

Early G20 talks are focused on reforms of bonus payments at banks. Details remain to be worked out, but the idea is to slow down the pace of bonuses for bank executives and specialists so that they cannot just take the money and run when they collect bonuses for deals that look good at the moment, but turn out to be disastrous a year later.

Bonuses of this kind were instrumental in draining most of the capital from Wall Street, as the high cost of deals gone bad was compounded by the huge bonuses paid to the workers responsible for creating the deals. Any kind of reform in this area could go a long way toward deterring a quick return of that scenario.

A coordinated worldwide reform will have more impact than new restrictions in just one country. The Wall Street bandits who have threatened to simply move on to loot other countries’ financial systems would then have much narrower options.