Finance Industry Elites Still Expecting Hefty Bonuses
If you want to point to one single thing that exemplifies the privileged, insular, infuriating attitude of the financial elites, this will do nicely:
The onset of what has been described by the Bank of England governor Sir Mervyn King as "the most serious financial crisis" in history has failed to dent expectations for bonuses in the City. Nine out of 10 finance professionals expect to receive an annual handout again this year.
The downturn in banking that has forced Deutsche Bank to issue a profit warning and other banks to alter their business plans is expected to be underlined by US firms in the coming days, when JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs report results for the third quarter.
Goldman may report only its second quarterly loss since it ended its partnership structure a decade ago, according to some analysts. The CBI's barometer of confidence among financial firms showed this month that sentiment had worsened for the first time since March 2009.
Even so, expectations for bonuses remain among the staff surveyed by City jobs group eFinancialCareers.
James Bennett, a managing director of the group, said: "External observers may be shocked by the confidence being expressed by bankers ahead of the bonus season. However, the pay-for-performance culture is very much ingrained in the financial psyche, and even in times of market turmoil, financial institutions need to take care of their best talent in order to retain them."
Yes, it's very much ingrained in the financial psyche. And that's the problem.
This is the attitude I was talking about in my article from yesterday. These people are ostentatiously grabbing as much of the nation's wealth as they can stuff in every pocket and telling the people to eat cake. It's the essence of our social and economic dysfunction --- the imperious privilege of these moneyed elites, the total unwillingness to even consider that their behavior is provocative.
Now I hear that the NYC cops are arresting citizens who deign to protest outside of banks. Evidently, they are worried on behalf of the 1% that things might get out of hand. What in God's name did they expect with their ongoing, insolent defiance of basic decency and moral behavior in the face of large scale suffering?