"Socialist Pay"

American Banks rejected the advice of their British counterparts to reduce high-level bonus payouts at secret talks held between the parties in London last year.

American Banks rejected the advice of their British counterparts to reduce high-level bonus payouts at secret talks held between the parties in London last year. "America's top bankers quashed attempts by their British counterparts to persuade the industry to bring down salaries in response to public outrage after the world's governments spent billions rescuing the system. Chief executives from the world's banks discussed the plans at a secret dinner held at Claridge's, the London hotel, last October, at which several leading British bankers are said to have suggested that the sector should take greater responsibility for its part in the crash, and do more to reduce the vast bonuses paid to staff. But the recommendations were met by stiff opposition from the US banks JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, according to one source. 'Some of the US bankers were furious about attempts to reduce pay throughout the industry, arguing that any such move smacked of socialism and would be fiercely resisted,' the source said on Friday. 'It's not the way the Americans like to go about their business.'" The bankers meet twice a year for industry talks. But following the public's growing anger at high-level bonuses despite government bail-outs, salaries were at the top of the agenda at the meeting. The source said: 'There were several bankers present who believe that if the industry worked together to agree that pay levels – and bonuses – should come down it would work in the interests of all, because it would cut back overall costs at such a sensitive time. Oddly enough, even the top bankers don't like paying out so much.'"

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Photo credit: Mario Tama / Getty Images
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