29 January 2009

The Bankers haven't hit Reality yet

While my homecountry Switzerland is in turmoil over more than 2 billion Francs of bonuses being paid by the government-backed bank UBS (formerly a national pride, now essentially bankrupt), with heated discussions even at the world economic forum in Davos, things are even worse in the center of the entire mess, my former second home New York.

The New York Times had an interesting article about Wall Street paying the sixth highest amount of bonuses ever after a year that hardly can be said to have been one of the best. Yes, I know, they HAVE to do this, otherwise they might lose their best people (e.g., those who just wrecked the world economy). But, where will these people go if most banks are down? The argument was bad even before the crash, now it is just outrageous.

The best comes at the end of the article: "A poll of 900 financial industry employees [...] found that while nearly eight out of 10 got bonuses, 46 percent thought they deserved more." They haven't hit reality yet. They still live in their dream world where money comes from nothing. It either has to get much worse or someone has to tell them that it's over.

Or are we really going to accept that this kind of unrestrained capitalism continues?

P.S. I am glad to learn that Obama seems to share my opinion and tells the bankers what's up. It may be populist, but at least he's not alone.