Wednesday, October 5, 2016

on banking industry executives

a long time ago i was a registered republican, because while i was always a social liberal, i continue to be a fiscal conservative. this article is the most hilarious example i can find to illustrate one of the reasons why i cannot in good conscience go back to this party that protects and rewards the most criminal of our society's leeches. 

that's how the gop rolls... the financial sector pays politicians to write laws and rules that make this kind of behavior "legal", and then republicans wave the flag, sign patriotic songs, while blaming the poor, and allowing these industries to steal billions from everyone else. 

check out this article and see how many times you bust out laughing if only to keep yourself from crying. 

let's dissect... and let's start with the title of the article: 

Bankers are fearful of the political climate. 

political? ha! ok "title" we'll get back to you in a bit 

Wells Fargo & Co’s unprecedented move to strip Chief Executive John Stumpf of $41 million in stock awards has sent a chill through Wall Street with bankers fearful that a hardening political climate against corporate wrongdoing will encourage boards to be more aggressive about making them forfeit pay. 

a chill... because bankers are now fearful that they can't just do anything they want, good, bad, malicious, negligent, and have it not impact their own personal compensation? wow. 

A sales practices scandal at Wells Fargo, where some of its employees opened as many as 2 million accounts without customers’ knowledge to hit sales targets, could not have come at a worse time for the wider industry with politicians in Washington reviewing new rules on bank executive remuneration. 

new rules? shouldn't these have always been the rules? why is the financial sector seem to be living in a reality quite different than the rest of us? 

Bankers fear not only that the new rules on pay will be tightened as a result of the furor at Wells Fargo but also that boards will go beyond them to avoid a political backlash. 

oh, they think that these new rules are coming out of some irrational political correctness run wild? rather than what they actually are, namely, a simply logical linking of compensation with the value you bring the organization minus purposeful wrongdoing? 

The Wells Fargo board made a mistake by not recouping some of the CEO’s pay until after the firestorm developed,” said Harvard Law School professor Jesse Fried. “Other boards will learn from this mistake.” 


U.S. regulators are looking at requiring banks to defer compensation for senior officials and to allow clawbacks for misdeeds over the previous seven years. The law is meant to come into effect in 2019 and regulators are trying to get it finalized before a new president takes office in January. 

good. still amazed this wasn't always the case, but let's continue... 

Yellen also told the committee that the Fed was reviewing whether the largest U.S. lenders are complying with banking rules in the wake of what happened at Wells Fargo. 

oh silly me. i was under the impression that part of the fed's job, in addition to making rules, was to watch to ensure the rules are followed. no? ok. 

Clawback provisions were put in place or strengthened at all the top U.S. banks after the financial crisis of 2008, primarily to hold executives responsible for risk taking. 

good. but again, the fact that this is seen as something that comes out of irrational political correctness rather than coming out of what is actually the right thing to do, shows how mentally warped this industry is. 

Britain introduced laws last year that allow banks to seek recovery of bonuses from bankers deemed to have acted irresponsibly up to 10 years after they are paid out. 

sounds reasonable. 

Standard Chartered Plc has said it will try to claw back bonuses from up to 150 senior staff if they are found culpable of breaching internal rules around risk-taking during the tenure of former chief executive Peter Sands. 

it will "try"? ok so when execs are negligent or are outright malicous, they still expect bonuses? let's set aside that they don't expect to go to jail and lose their base compensation, but they actually believe they're still entitled to performance bonuses?? 

But clawing back money from people who have already left a bank can be fraught with practical and legal difficulties. 

make it part of the law that execs of banks (gov't regulated, all of them) are to be held accountable for their actions. we all kinda learned this in kindergarten, right? 

Stumpf is the first CEO of a major U.S. bank to actually have to give back significant pay or benefits as the result of a scandal. Wells Fargo’s rule is written broadly enough that Stumpf was subject to a clawback even though the bank’s $185 million fine did not force it to make a material restatement of its results. 

good. but whoa, wait a second. this fine, itself in 9 figures, let alone the sales figures that came out of millions of fraudulent accounts being created by thousands of employees didn't change one little bit the numbers that the company was required to report about its performance to stockholders? 

The rules vary from bank to bank, but they generally allow the banks to take back stock awards or pay for misconduct, taking improper risks or poor performance. Executives can also be penalized if the bank has to significantly restate results. 

they vary from bank to bank huh? interesting. 

Compensation consultants said that increased clawbacks could make it more difficult for banks to recruit and keep top talent with bonuses at investment and commercial banks down about 40 percent since the financial crisis. 

and this my friends is comedy gold. top talent huh? if you're recruiting to fill an executive position in your bank, you actually consider a "talented candidate" to be one who might not take the job if they know that they might lose their bonuses if they are found to have underperformed, been negligent in their duties, or malicious in their following of the rules, let alone being found to have broken the law? really? that's the type of "talent" that we're afraid of discouraging? 

 “Compensation is going to be a much more political process going forward. You’re going to based not only on your merits but what is politically attractive at the moment,” said Alan Johnson, managing director of compensation consulting firm Johnson Associates. 

yeah, hi, fuck you alan johnson, you're part of the problem. doing what's right, serving shareholders and customers, obeying the rules, directing a solid organization, and obeying the law are NOT simply politically attractive. this fucker is actually saying what we've all thought. that financial sector execs feel entitled to millions in compensation and bonuses regardless of how badly they fuck up, by accident or on purpose, and the only thing changing that warped reality is some "political correctness". wow. 

“Whatever progress had been made in lobbying some features now has been set back to zero,” he said. “Who is going to listen to the banking industry now?” 

he basically admits that the industry pays legislators to create (and make into actual law) these crazy ass rules that benefit those individuals and firms in the financial sector and no one else. these are not laws that serve the public. 

how about this? do your job and serve the free market that drives our country and its progress. yes, it's not just about leeching money for yourself. the financial sector is given the keys to the kingdom to work for the rest of us. words like fiduciary responsibility and professional ethics are so far in the rear view mirror for these pricks, they don't even try to hide the fact that they're completely ignorant of them. 

Still, David Knutson, head of credit research in the Americas for Schroder Investment Management, believes CEOs at other banks will be more careful with their own businesses now that they have seen what happened to Stumpf. “When you see a colleague you’ve known for years all of a sudden lose $40 million, it makes you more cautious,” he said. 

no. no. no. when the $40 million is clawed-back, that means it is ill-gotten, that means it is considered never yours to begin with. if you rob a store for $10k, and the cops catch you and take it back, you didn't "lose" $10k. due to you being convicted of theft, that $10k is legally considered not yours to begin with.

that said, it NOW makes you more cautious? the possibility of losing $40m in bonuses due to misbehavior is something that is making you START to think about being more cautious NOW? 

and finally, let's go back to the title of the article 

Bankers are fearful of the political climate. 

how about "Bankers are fearful that their misdeeds have been so criminal for so long that they finally woke up the american people and their scam is eroding."