Golden paydays for bankers are over, lawmakers say

Sumith Arangala, Chief Executive Officer, LVL Energy Fund (left) handing over the agreement to Nanda Fernando, Managing Director, Sampath Bank

PARIS, October 10, 2008 (AFP) – While governments worldwide have not yet agreed on a solution to fix the current global economic crisis, nearly all agree on the cause of the problem: the large bonuses awarded to executives. Bankers’ bonuses have come under scrutiny as taxpayers money is being used to bail out ailing financial institutions. Some say the large bonuses caused some bankers to take excessive risks.

Shortly after US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson announced a 700-billion-dollar (510-billion-euro) loan to buy financial firms’ bad debts, Bernie Sanders, an independent senator from Vermont, organised a petition protesting at “the exorbitant salaries and bonuses” made by executives and traders.

Lawmakers on the other side of the Atlantic are now beginning to echo the sentiments of their American counterparts as European banks feel the pinch from the financial crisis.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Thursday that “the days of big bonuses are over,” slamming the “irresponsible behaviour” of some working in the financial sector.

Brown made his comments just one day after unveiling a 875-billion-dollar rescue package for Britain’s beleaguered banks. One condition of the package being gr