Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Let's go Dutch!

WSJ has an interesting story today about ING's CEO's decision to "give up his €1.25 million bonus for 2010, in a bid to allay public anger on his reward for steering the bailed-out Dutch financial-services company back into a profit last year."

Now the way that quote is written suggests some kind of communist uprising from people who are anti-business - that "the people" don't want smart people to be rewarded for bringing a company "back into profit."

That's not true, actually. "The people" just don't want leaders of bailed out companies that are still on the dole to get bonuses. I hear that over here in America a lot, but no one ever seems to listen to those complaints.

So what we have with ING is something completely unimaginable in America. Not only do Dutch citizens get angry over what they perceive to be unfair and unreasonable bonuses to bankers, the bankers actually listen to them!

And check out this nugget:

"The move can be seen as a peace offering to lawmakers and unions, who said last week that ING shouldn't pay bonuses when it is still reliant on taxpayer money. To address these concerns, Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager said last weekend that he will propose a new law under which Dutch banks will be forbidden from paying bonuses until they are free from state aid."
The Dutch government is actually considering creating a law that will forbid bankers from receiving bonuses until they are free from state aid.

I'm sure American bankers are scornful of this development. They are, after all, the ones with the biggest swinging dicks in the world. The thought of giving up a bonus is beyond comprehension for them. Even if it comes as a result of a massive government welfare program...

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