mannerisms

Ruminations on the electronics industry from David Manners, Senior Components Editor on Electronics Weekly.

The Banker-Pariahs

The Hester-bonus/Goodwin-knighthood decisions were good because bankers have got to understand that they did something wrong.

Anyone who knows bankers knows that they think they did nothing wrong.

 

They say they saw the economic situation as it was pre-2008 i.e. governments flooding the world with liquidity post-9/11 – so bankers simply did their job which is to find investments for that liquidity.

 

The result was massively over-leveraged deals like Freescale and NXP.

 

So far, so bad, but that is not why bankers need a wake up call.

 

After the collapse and tax-payers’ bail-out, bankers went back to over-paying themselves.

 

Goodwin fought tenaciously for all his redundancy and pension rights. He seemed unashamed of busting his bank, unconcerned that ordinary people would be worse off because they were paying for his bank to be saved.

 

Had Goodwin not fought for his various entitlements, he would not have become a pariah.

 

There was a telling phrase in one of the American documentaries on the credit crunch: “The bankers turned their backs on society.”

 

Those bankers which have tried to justify their behaviour say that in their work they’re not concerned with morality.

 

Why not?

 

If we decide we are not concerned with morality, then we self-label ourselves as pariahs.

Tags: decisions, documentaries, liquidity, morality, pariah

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11 Comments

  1. David Manners
    February 14, 2012 16:11

    Crikey, Delusional, so Goldman Sachs and J.P.Morgan et al are busying themselves pumping up the value of what could turn out to be a mere hamster hive.

  2. Delusional
    February 14, 2012 14:39

    But when you can never delete a facebook account I wonder just how many of those 80miloion are no longer users/accounts with forgotton passwords/deceased/duplicate/pets (yes I even know a hamster with an account!)
    Makes you wonder if it’s worth the paper it’s written on (yes I know it’s electronic – thats my point)

  3. Mr Cynical
    February 08, 2012 11:32

    No worries Mr M, I’ve suspected it for years now!

  4. David Manners
    February 08, 2012 11:25

    OMG, Mr C, my profound apologies

  5. Mr Cynical
    February 08, 2012 11:13

    Yes but the amazing thing is they are happy morons.
    Oh dear just found my wife on Facebook!

  6. David Manners
    February 08, 2012 11:10

    With Facebook extracting as much info as they can from subscribers so they can sell it to advertisers which then bombard the subscribers with crappy merchandising messaging, it seems to me you have to be a moron to join Facebook, Mr C. Could it be that out of six billion people on the planet, 800 million are morons?

  7. Mr Cynical
    February 08, 2012 11:03

    Other than being a star for 15mins I really can’t see the attraction of facebook. I only hear of negatives.
    Even more unbelievable in business is Linkedin, I often get emailed with something like “David Manners is now linked to Harry Redknapp” (and lent David £115K).
    Now who in business wants their connections shared with competitors?
    Much more interestingly Michael Schumacher has just gone fastest in Jerez.

  8. HsinchuDays
    February 08, 2012 08:21

    If I could set my own pay I guess it would only be 2 or 3 years before it was North of a few million quid (God, I work so hard….).
    So, Fred was a nasty piece of work of questionable ability. He did everything in plain view and at the time got maximum rewards and plaudits from politicians, investors and institutions. Let him keep his bauble as a reminder of just how rotten the system is, and fix it so it cannot happen again.

  9. David Manners
    February 07, 2012 11:48

    An excellent point, Mr Cynical, would JT continue to play football if he was on £135,000 a year? I expect so because he doesn’t look too employable off a soccer pitch. Would Chelsea lose more often if they sold him? Well Man U did rather well after selling Ronaldo for £80m. Torres hasn’t scored for ages after being bought for £50m. So maybe footballers’ prices expand in proportion to the revenues of their clubs rather than their achievements. Bankers, of course, set their own pay and they could easily defuse criticism if they transparently linked bonuses to the profits from their deals. It would, of course, take a few years to establish if the deals they made were profitable or loss-making. But paying bonuses say 5 years in arrears might work. Paying a banker a bonus in 2006 for doing the Freescale deal which has lost several billion is a farce – encouraging reckless, sloppy banking. And Facebook – what can you say about that? It’s clearly been puffed up by Goldman Sachs to absurd levels – but that’s what Goldman Sachs is a master at. But, with Facebook users now getting really concerned about what Facebook is doing with the info they upload to the site – FB users will leave it in droves. Behold – another My Space 3 years down the line (by when Goldman Sachs will have sold out). That’s a long-winded way of saying I agree with you Mr C.

  10. Mr Cynical
    February 07, 2012 11:26

    Don’t you think that it’s more than the Bankers, we seem to be valuing things too highly right across the market.
    Footballers, John Terry £135,000/week sorry to pick on him but someone has also told me that it’s a net salary!
    Company Valuations, Facebook $100bn which is farcical for what is a website?
    There is a too larger gap between good managers and the top fliers that in my opinion is unsustainable.

  11. February 07, 2012 10:30

    I couldn’t agree with you more!