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Obama Executive Compensation Reforms: Chickens Coming Home to Roost

By Paul Hodgson, Chief Research Analyst According to a Reuters report this morning, President Obama has his sights set on executive compensation reform as a further move to prevent risky behavior being incentivized in the financial services sector. In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Mr. Obama said: “The single biggest thing that I would […]

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OWS Protesters Target Big Bank CEOs, Security Perks Put to Use

By Greg Ruel, Research Associate JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO James Dimon received $17k in security costs in 2010. The security figure represented a diminutive portion of his nearly $600k in perks for the year, though he could be looking to beef up security soon after being approached by Occupy Seattle protesters Wednesday afternoon. According […]

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U.S. Bank Bonus Regulations not quite up to European Standards

The FDIC released proposed rules for discussion on bank incentive payments. These are rules, not guidelines, but the rules are few and then there are a lot of guidelines. Rule #1: No excessive compensation. Wait, wait, hold the coach and horses [as in you can drive a coach and horse through that one, I can […]

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Credit Suisse proves there’s more to the Swiss than the Cuckoo Clock

Oh, come on, you know the quotation, Harry Lime, The Third Man, Orson Wells…. You know what the fellow said – in Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five […]

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Whaddya mean you can’t pay ‘golden hellos’ under TARP?

In a scoop that proves that poring over SEC filings is usually worth it, Zachary Mider at Bloomberg has found a December filing from Wilmington Trust Corporation – a bank that still owes CPP/TARP money – that announces it has had to rescind certain compensation originally awarded to the CEO because it violates TARP pay […]

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European Bank Bonus Regulations…nice stuff

Coming into effect on the first of the year, the new guidelines for bankers’ remuneration from the Committee of European Banking Supervisors (CEBS) apply to all credit institutions and investment firms headquartered in the European Union (EU) as well as to staff of non-EU firms who work in the EU. They apply to a very […]

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Wall Street Pay Teleconference for the CII

On Monday I spoke to a group of CII members about the white paper I wrote on Wall Street pay. I summarized the paper, talking about the origins of the pay practices in partnership pay (for additional information on this see comment on the first blog I wrote on the paper), the startling pay differentials, […]

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European Bankers’ Pay Curbs

I love the way European’s just get on with it. No stupid lobbyists to get in the way, no heartrending, shirt-rending, sackcloth-wearing, what’ll-we-do-if-all-the-banks-move-to-Buenos-Aires nonsense. No, just a straightforward decision. Bankers in the 27-nation European bloc will be barred from taking home more than 30 percent of their bonus in cash starting next year, and may […]

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Pay Czar Feinberg’s Best Practice Principles

There was a report about Pay Czar Feinberg talking at the Practising Law Institute’s conference Hot Issues in Executive Compensation 2010 in Agenda this week. It reported on the upcoming survey of bankers’ bonuses but also quoted extensively from his speech. For example: In light of his TARP experience, Feinberg stressed five basic steps boards […]

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Delay Some Pay

An article by Robert Shiller, a Yale professor, appeared in the June 20 edition of the New York Times called “Help Prevent a Sequel. Delay Some Pay”. It describes the Squam Lake Group, a band of 15 professors of financial economics who get together and pool their resources to solve the problems of the day. […]

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On why salary stock is semantic quibbling

OK. This is really beginning to get on my nerves. This stupid salary stock thing. OK. I looked it up special this afternoon. It is permissible for TARP recipients to deliver portions of salary in stock under EESA Section 111, and, since the definitions are the same, under ARRA too. And it doesn’t actually say […]

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SEC Market Timing The Goldman Sachs Trial?

Jeff Cunningham, publisher of Directorship magazine, recently blogged about the investigation into Goldman Sachs. He suggested that the SEC fraud accusation was an example of market timing because it came out on a Friday, a no news day, and the same day that the SEC’s failure in a Ponzi case was catalogued, almost as if […]

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U.S. Bancorp Annual Meeting Today

I hope you took your Blackberries with you because otherwise this one is going to be too late as U.S. Bancorp’s annual meeting is today and it is actually having a vote on whether you, as shareholders, actually approve of its executive compensation package. On an advisory basis, of course. (Buy the governance risk profile […]

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Financial Stability Board Scorecard on Bank Compensation

A peer review of the the G20 companies’ implementation of sound compensation practices has been issued by the Financial Stability Board (FSB). The scores so far are: Australia, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, and the U.K. – A, well done boys and girls. Canada and Spain – B+, again, well done, excellent […]

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Values — from Doonesbury

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The Robin Hood Tax

 

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Banks ASKING Government to Help Them Curb Pay and Bonuses: Now THAT’S News

The news that Reuters Breakingviews lays on us this morning – that two chairmen of global banks have asked two governments – the U.S. and the U.K. ones – to help them rein in bank pay is quite astounding. The last time I remember anything like this happening, the chairman of the U.K. coal industry […]

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Whack a Banker

A friend back home in England just told me a great story about an amusement park in Suffolk in Southern England that has introduced a new game called Whack a Banker. It’s based on the old game Whack a Mole, and basically punters pay 40p (about 65c) so they can bash as many bankers on […]

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