One Banker’s Mindset

According to a piece in The New York Times  a couple of weeks ago, at least one banker attempts to rationalize high pay in the financial industry with the need to fund the industry members’ personal lifestyles.

In an objective article by Steven Brill, a banker defends the need for high pay that’s paid now–with no deferral.  

“A lot of our folks have second and third homes and alimony payments and other obligations that require substantial current cash.”   

So the notion here is that compensation structures should be designed to accommodate the financial needs of the employees rather than to encourage and pay employees to act in ways that are consistent with meeting customer and shareholder requirements. This employee-comes-before-the-shareholder-and-customer mindset is dangerous in any business or industry.  But it’s no doubt the same mindset that encouraged other goofy behavior, including former Merrill CEO John Thain’s decision to spend $1.2 million on his office and a couple of conference rooms. 

It’s putting me over we and that’s dangerous in banking or any other industry.

Is “They just don’t get it” a fair observation?

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