Not Just an American Problem
From today’s Guardian:
Rescued bank to pay millions in bonuses
RBS ‘making monkeys’ out of the government, says Vince Cable
Saturday November 1 2008
Royal Bank of Scotland, which is being bailed out with 20bn pounds of taxpayers’ money, has signalled it is preparing to pay bonuses to thousands of staff despite government pledges to crack down on City pay.
The bank has set aside 1.79bn pounds to cover “staff costs” – including discretionary bonuses – at its investment banking division for the first six months of the year alone. The same division caused a 5.9bn pound writedown that wiped out the bank’s profits for the same period.
The government had demanded that boardroom directors at RBS should not receive bonuses this year and the chief executive, Sir Fred Goodwin, is walking away without a pay-off. But below boardroom level, RBS and other groups are preparing to pay bonuses to investment bankers who continue to generate profits.