Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Grin and bear it chaps! You're just not as rich as me!

Stiff upper lip, Jeeves! It seems that something else has been added to the ever-growing list of things that us Brits need to be tolerant of.

According to Conservative peer Lord Griffiths, who is also vice-chairman of Goldman Sachs International and a former adviser to Margaret Thatcher (so he would say that, wouldn’t he?) the British public should "tolerate the inequality (of bankers’ bonuses) as a way to achieve greater prosperity for all".

Only a year after the entire banking industry was rescued by the taxpayer, Goldman Sachs is currently on track to pay the biggest ever bonuses to its 31,700 employees after raking in profits at a rate of $35m (£21m) a day.

Speaking in St Paul’s Cathedral last night (er.. and if I remember correctly, wasn't it Paul who dropped an e-mail to his friend Timothy saying that “the love of money is the root of all evil”?) Griffiths said "I believe that we should be thinking about the medium-term common good, not the short-term common good. We should not, therefore, be ashamed of offering compensation in an internationally competitive market which ensures the bank businesses here and employs British people."

He also pulled out the old veiled blackmail threat that if the Brits didn’t pay out such bonuses, someone else in Europe or the Far East would. "If we said we're not going to have as big bonuses or the same bonuses as last year, I think then you'd find that lots of City firms could easily hive off their operations to Switzerland or the far east," he said.

For those planning on relocating (and I suspect there will be few) take the Central Line from St. Paul’s, change at Oxford Circus, and then take the Bakerloo Line to Paddington, where you will be able to catch the Heathrow Express. Swiss International Air Lines are offering flights to Zurich from £108 each way.

Public must learn to 'tolerate the inequality' of bonuses, says Goldman Sachs vice-chairman

  • Right! Any questions from the floor? Man in jeans and a white shirt in the second pew from the back?

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