Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend
  3
3 Shares     
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Article Stats
3 comments

Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds

Shameful? Yes. Surprising? No.

Become a Fan
  (4 fans)
By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 3 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 2   Well Said 2   Valuable 2  
View Ratings | Rate It

Headlined to H3 2/6/09

opednews.com

Item: Soon after receiving $85 million from the TARP bailout fund, executives of an AIG subsidiary went on a week-long luxury retreat to St. Regis Resort.  Cost: $443,000. 

Item: Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain spent $1.2 million to renovate his office, even as his firm was being acquired by Bank of America and BOA received of some $408 billion in government equity purchases, asset guarantees, and cash infusions from the TARP bailout fund. 

Item: Citigroup planned to take delivery of a $50 million French-made Dassault Falcon 7X.  At the time, The bank was receiving some $381 billion (including asset guarantees) from the TARP fund.  

Item: Wall Street brokerages paid $18.4 billion in bonuses in 2008, even as their firms lost more than $35 billion; 2.1 million Americans lost their jobs; and the world economy lost more than $2.2 trillion last year.   

à  Polled last week, 46% of Wall Streeters said they believed they deserved larger bonuses. 

President Barack Obama was right when he said, referring to the bonus payments, “That is the height of irresponsibility.  It is shameful.” 

Shameful?  Yes.  Surprising?  Not in the least. 

Senator Claire McCaskill, on the Senate floor, observed, “We have a bunch of idiots on Wall Street, that are kicking sand in the face of the American taxpayer … they don’t get it … these people are idiots … what planet are these people on?  What could they be thinking about?  … I don’t think any of us thought these guys were this stupid.” 

Believe it, Senator.  “These guys” care about money and themselves, in either order.  That’s all.  And it’s not stupidity, it’s greed.  You didn’t think these guys were this greedy?  Think again. 

I spent 17 years in the financial services business and 16 more as a consultant to financial services firms.  During that time, I learned a few important lessons about “these guys” – Financial Animals, I call them – and the planet they are on.   Here are five of those lessons and how I learned them. 

Most Financial Animals are disconnected almost entirely from the reality in which the rest of us live. 

In 1990, I worked for the CEO of a major financial services company.  One Friday I had some documents for Mr. Wunderbar to sign; I left them with his assistant and said I would pick them up Monday.  “Oh no,” she replied, “He’s waiting for them now.  And the G-5 [Gulfstream V jet] is waiting for you.”  I called my wife and said, “I’m going to Bermuda but I’ll be home by suppertime.”  The documents (on which original signatures were required) were not needed until late the next week. 

The same company had a tough 1990 and we had to lay off 600 employees (the first tranche of what would become 13,000 layoffs by 1993).  As we walked to the TV studio to tape a video announcing the layoffs, Mr. Wunderbar told me what was really griping him: the elevator down to his indoor swimming pool at home was on the fritz; he had to use the stairs.   

That is disconnection from reality. 

Because they are so disconnected, most Financial Animals see no relationship – especially not a causative one – between their pay and their performance.  For that reason, they see any mandated cap on their compensation as an undeserved penalty. 

Financial Animals are keen on “pay for performance” for the rank-and-file.  But they are usually unwilling to apply the approach at higher levels.  Why not?  Because, in their view, so many factors beyond their control affect the organization’s performance that “pay for performance” just does not work for them.   

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

 

Rick Wise is an industrial psychologist and retired management consultant. For 15 years, he was managing director of ValueNet International, Inc. Before starting ValueNet, Rick was director, corporate training and, later, director, corporate (more...)
 
Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

HOW TO AVOID THE UNION

WILL GOP REBUT OBAMA'S EDUCATION SPEECH?

A Conservative's "12 Days of Christmas"

"I Don't Want to Pay for Somebody Else's Health Care"

Reconsidering Iraq: What If We Had Been Greeted as Liberators?

FairTax: Too Good To Be True?

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
3 people are discussing this page, with 3 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

Too busy to do any independent research, huh? AIG ... by Jim O'Sullivan on Friday, Feb 6, 2009 at 3:15:25 PM
Never too busy to try to get it right.  This ... by Richard Wise on Friday, Feb 6, 2009 at 5:11:29 PM
of money...moola...The concrete jungle both savage... by shadow dancer on Friday, Feb 6, 2009 at 9:28:35 PM