Financial workers at Wall Street’s top banks are to receive pay deals worth more than $70bn (£40bn) [equivalent to 10% of the US government bail-out package], a substantial proportion of which is expected to be paid in discretionary bonuses, for their work so far this year – despite plunging the global financial system into its worst crisis since the 1929 stock market crash, the Guardian has learned.
The chief executive of Lloyds TSB, one of the banks participating in the [UK] £37bn bank bail-out, has promised staff they will receive bonuses this year despite Gordon Brown’s promise of a crackdown on bankers’ pay following the investment by taxpayers.
In a recorded message to employees, Daniels stressed that the bank faced “very, very few restrictions” in its behaviour despite the injection of up to £5.5bn of taxpayers’ funds. “If you think about it, the first restriction was not to pay bonuses. Well Lloyds TSB is in fact going to pay bonuses. I think our staff have done a terrific job this year. There is no reason why we shouldn’t.”
Now that takes nerve.