BBC News website readers have been sending us their comments on the latest
. In the most recent instalment our diarists discuss bankers' bonuses and financial regulation. What lead would they like to see politicians take on the matter? Here is a selection of your comments.
Mark wrote:"Quite simply, the best talent will earn the best salaries. We operate within a free market and market forces are there to determine things such as salaries."
Yet again a reiteration of the simplistic theory of human behaviour. The best talent will not earn the best salaries. Those at the top of the salary pole are those that are most driven by their ambition to possess power and prestige; it is human nature.
The directors of the top companies form a very small, closed group who are in the enviable position of being able to dictate their own 'earned' remuneration. To overcome the very small pool of people in these top positions there should a very low limit to how many directorships, executive or otherwise, one person can hold. This will at least force this group to grow in number and provide more competition for any individual members of this exclusive club.
Sam Poor, Grimsby
Mark, your comments, to say the least, concern me. The whole reason for the need to restrict the bonus culture in the financial industry is due to the weak incentives to measure risk accurately at any stage in the process. Bankers were being rewarded bonuses on the short term profits, and not the long term sustainability of the investments made. Back to the article regarding the media; ITV does not play with the tax payers money to take a risk. When it goes wrong, ITV does not ask the tax payer for their money to give their staff bonuses for destroying the world's financial services. It does not take risks which can make the entire economic climate defunct. You, as a trader, should understand why the financial sector is being targeted.
"Mark", I am equally disgusted at Tony Ball's remuneration package. However, if he messes up, we won't all pay for his mistakes. Banks have made themselves indispensable (due to poor government regulation) and now it seems they are infallible. Time to reign in the Ponzi elite.
Yes, the potential ITV package is crazy. The media, however will not force a bailout on the tax-payer if they fail. Nor do they take risks which make the economy vulnerable: job losses would be restricted to the company in question, not third-party companies completely innocent of all financial engineers. When I read such whinging from financiers I have to question "talent" and the fact that these are supposed to be the most intelligent around. I am an engineer in broadcasting. There are many intelligent and educated people in this line of work and we will never aspire to earn what a junior trader may earn in his first year. Maybe we have different priorities, such as pride in the quality of our work rather than always getting more than the next man. The arrogance of finance: look at yourself before trying to find fault with others.
Peter T, Sevenoaks
Mark's diary this week, completely ignores recent history, as do most workers within the banking sector. We tax payers have supported your industry to the tune of tens of billions of pounds, and you wonder why we demand a degree of control over who earns what bonus. The nut of the whole problem is that until the public can demand of our politicians to enact laws to separate utility banking from commercial banking, the commercial banking sector is just gambling with our money. The reality now is fewer banks, less competition, more pain for us tax payers.
Gary Colby, Bristol
Yet again, two of the diarists seem to ignore the reality of the banking bailout, claiming that banking is no worse than any other sector. This is just not true. When engineering, IT, pharma, automotive or other companies fail, they are wound up and their employees are fired. When banks fail, the government steps in to give them taxpayers' money and no-one is fired. That is the fundamental difference between banks and real companies that operate in a free market.
Anthony mentions public sector cuts: why are they necessary? Why is the government deficit and external debt so high? Any charts on UK public debt show a clear spike in 2008 due to the banking bailout. The real root is in the public money spent on Northern Rock, HBOS and RBS, as well as the fiscal stimulus now needed to keep the economy on life support. Laura says that if bank employees don't perform they get a P45. This is patently not true. Redundancies in the financial sector have been no higher than in any other sector and jobs in the US financial sector are only down 8% on last year.
If the banking sector needs no regulatory input from government, why does it need taxpayers' money when it makes mistakes? Either take the high risk / no government money path or the low risk / with government backing path. This combination of high risk activity underwritten by the government is appalling.
M Brodie, Scotland