Friday, 27 January 2012

Hester gets the BBC hyperbolic treatment

The BBC, alleged guardians of truth and responsible reporting, currently have as their lead story:

"OUTRAGE OF HESTER BONUS"

I do wonder, who's outrage though? What exactly is the going rate for running an organisation of over 100,000 people and being tasked with turning round a company that lost £28 billion shortly before you joined, into one that can be sold for double its current shareprice and deliver back to taxpayers £35 billion whilst also removing £250 billion of liabilities from the UK national debt.

I don't think any rational person would say this is a median wage job. In fact the majority of FTSE bosses get far more than this - yes we can argue that they are paid too much. But really, I am hoping that this is the top of the media circus. Stephen Hester is not Sir Fred Goodwin, he is already a rich man and took on a difficult job, failure at which will cost the Country tens of billions of pounds.

Things do need to calm down in the UK on the pure money envy front. Lots of people get paid too much, footballers, bankers z-list celebrities and lost of people earn very little too. it's never been any different and the general howling at people who have got on however lucky they have been is a vision of a society that I don't want to see.

That way lies communism and the utter failure of socialism, valuing equality over achievement, trying to go directly against the human condition and desire of competition - attributes that capitalism does so well to focus to positive rather than negative ends.

Finally, the BBC of all organisations, is also a large public entity, has many people on its pay roll - like say Alan Hansen at £1.5 million - who perhaps do not have the Country's financial future in their hands and yet are paid even more directly by the taxpayer...

14 comments:

roym said...

i think the trouble is with the word 'bonus'
plenty of people (including me) are having difficulty squaring this payment with ongoing losses, 5000 (presumably much lower paid) redundancies and a halving in share price?

fully agree about that wazzock hansen. surely football punditry belies the myth about paying for the best talent though? Id quite happily spout off after the highlights for a couple of pints and a packet of pork scratchings.

electro-kevin said...

Brilliant, CU.

I've been having great difficulty arguing with lefties over the need for cutbacks. They always cite City bonuses.

I think they're too high for most but stand-out talent should always command a high price.

CityUnslicker said...

Agree re bonus ROYM - would be better to just be total compensation.

Even Bojo has joined in sticking the knife in, horrid.

Budgie said...

It's not really about the banks, it's about politics (as usual).

When Gordon was in charge and it was all going horribly wrong (c2008), he carefully did not blame the (UK) banks. If he had, then it would have been easy to see that the real culprit was - Gordon.

Instead he claimed "it started in America" and "it's the right thing to do" (to prop up the banks with taxpayers cash).

Now Labour is out of power it makes political sense for them to whisper "banks - capitalism - Tories". It is not true of course, but when did that matter to politicians?

Bill Quango MP said...

Justin King of Sainsbury's was bashed on Question time recently.

This is someone who took a failing giant supermarket, one that had lost 2/3 of its market to Tesco, and brought it back to growth and is now closing in on his main rival {still just a tiny dot on the horizon, but still..getting nearer rather than further.}

Some audience members moaned at his 900k salary. "He should have to stack shelves like his employees!"

And here is the problem. Mr King could quite easily stack the shelves after a few hours training.
Bogodan Balowska cannot run Sainsburys after the same amount of time. And there is no one to train him, except Mr King.

Not much ire directed at David Dimbleby who is reportedly paid £3.5 million for 30 episodes. Or £116,666 an hour.

Agree with ROYM, the BONUS is the killer word. it doesn't mean what we think it means.

I'm with you CU. I can't stand this blind "You're richer than me..Give me your money..I have less.."

Look at Obama attacking Romney. Its the sort of attack that Miliband might deploy. Distorting the words to infer an outrage.

"Romney pays less tax than his cleaner." - Alan Johnson said exactly that last night.

Now, whatever the rights and wrongs of Romney's tax rate he does not pay less tax than his maid.
He paid about $6.25 million. That's enough to pay for 125 federal employees on $50,000 each.

The cleaner has probably paid $4-6,000 in total. Enough to pay ..for a quarter a cleaner for the government offices.

Yet I appreciate the emotion. The benefits cap is making me furious, even though it doesn't really effect me. The money HMG saves won't make much difference to anything. A couple of missiles or some replacement cladding on the new schools where its already fallen off the corners.

Yet..I want the benefits cap..because I do!

Blue Eyes said...

Envy destroys.

It's quite simple really, if these haters think they could do a better job they should stick their CV in and not waste time being annoyed about it.

Of course, 60% of that mil goes straight back to the Treasury anyway. Quite a neat way of transferring capital from one arm of HMG to another!

Blue Eyes said...

Excellent, comment went through third time.

Anonymous said...

...err. While waving the flag for achievement over equality, why did you use footballers and z-list celebs as a plank of your argument for high pay.

Had a good lunch before you wrote this?

Did you mean to include bonuses to top civil servants too?

Sean said...

Did you hear the one that the men in white coats have seen at the molecular dna level the division of labour, the central plank of capitalism?

http://www.nature.com/news/yeast-suggests-speedy-start-for-multicellular-life-1.9810

Simon Hester evolution in action.

dearieme said...

It's grit and determination that matter: grit and determination, and passion. And good positioning.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure Levitt in 'freakonomics' had something to say about the very few at the top trousering an absurd multiple of what those at the bottom got. This may have referred to drug cartels, but the read-across to banksters is self-evident.

CityUnslicker said...

Why z list celebrties - seems you have not read the piece.

As for Hester being a Bankster - what a silly thing to say. Hester is there to fix RBS.

Comne on lefties try and debate this argument, I have not heard one sensible one anywhere in the last week.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't we get Jian Jianquing in to run RBS, on his salary of £200K ?

Or would a Chinese banker not have a clue how to fix RBS, because no major Chinese bank could get into that mess in the first place ?

http://graphics.thomsonreuters.com/099/GLB_EXCMP0909.gif


Laban

diogenes said...

I haven't seen the3 terms of the grant of share options but...at what price would you want to take share options in RBS at the moment?