Who’s the greediest: Politicians or Bank Bosses?

May 17, 2009

After the long running hilarity of the MP’s expenses fiasco it has been revealed that Bank Bosses are still paying themselves salaries far in excess of other leading chief executives despite the economic downturn. The Guardian article says…

A report last week by the treasury select committee claimed that the bonus culture among banks had encouraged a “lethal combination of reckless and excessive risk-taking”. But according to a Channel 4 Dispatches programme to be screened tomorrow night, the basic pay of leading bankers has defied the economic downturn.

The programme claims that, historically, bank bosses have been paid the same as their FTSE 100 peers, but in the past 10 years their salaries have outstripped them. Research conducted for Dispatches reveals that, in 2008, bank bosses earned an average of £255,000 a year more than their FTSE 100 peers.

The programme shows the average salaries of leading bankers continued to rise between 2006-07 and 2007-08 – just when the banking sector was plunged into turmoil. In 2006 the basic pay of Sir Fred Goodwin, the Royal Bank of Scotland‘s chief executive, was £1.19m, rising to £1.29m in 2007 and £1.297m last year. The bank’s new chief executive, Stephen Hester, earns a basic salary of £1.2m.

Andy Hornby, the former chief executive of HBOS, took home a basic salary of £787,000 in 2006, rising to £940,000 in 2007 and £1.025m last year.

Remuneration of the banks’ non-executive directors – who were paid to safeguard shareholders’ interests and rein in the banks’ executives – has also soared. Non-executives at HBOS were paid £30,000 a year in 2001, rising to £70,000 a year in 2008. The pay of RBS’s non-executives almost tripled, from £25,000 a year in 2000 to £73,000 in 2008. Northern Rock’s non-executive salaries rose by 33% to £60,000 last year – after the bank was nationalised! (emphasis added)

While we may be sickened and/or angered by such revelations, we should never be surprised. High ranking positions in all dominatory, hierarchical systems (be they economic, political or religious) attract exactly the same kinds of people – thieves, opportunists and bastards!

But we can learn something from these parasites. MPs and Bankers have shown that they can create immense wealth and power by expropriating public funds; therefore anarchists can dismantle the excesses of wealth and power by reversing the process – viva La Bande à Bonnot!*

Band_a_bonnot_desenhoOn December 21, 1911 *The Bonnot Gang made the French national news when they robbed a messenger of the Société Générale Bank in broad daylight and then fled in a limousine (the first ever criminal use of a “get-away” car).


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