bonus outrage, price transparency

GS chief gives up bonus for now… Some more discussion here and here.

Here is a money quote (pun intended):

There are instances where bonuses are justified, deserved, and in the best interests of the investment bank involved. Your very best people are people you want to hold, and your very best people will have opportunities even in this environment to transfer allegiance.

So the rationale behind the pay structure, allegedly, is to use the bonus as a kind of bribe money, to keep proprietary information (some term it “talent”, laugh) locked up within one firm. So in a way, bonuses have gotten far away from being a performance incentive.

Maybe it’s just bad outmoded terminology, kind of like “gratuity” in restaurants, a certain percentage of which is nowadays demanded like a fee unrelated to service performance. Same thing with all kinds of “recovery charges” on phone bills, “fuel surcharges” on airfares, all of which annoy me to no end by their opaque or misleading nomenclature.

This being a wake up call, my hope is people will start getting paid — and services getting charged — in more explicit terms. Price transparency is good for everybody.

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