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Increasing base pay for these execs is in response to new controls on bonuses exerted by the Fed for TARP recipients. There are only so many ways to mix total comp. To me, these organizations are reacting to comply with the new restrictive regs handed down by the Feds. They can only be creative to a certain extent as their hands are tied with respect to bonus and incentives payments. The Feds focus is on reducing risk taken by these execs, the Banks' focus is on retaining key staff. You're seeing the result of increased government intervention: the market reacts and modifies to achieve desired objectives.

Thanks for the clarification Becky. Maybe it's better to question why we don't have someone with a Compensation background working on the regulations. Although there's something to be said for an outsider who can question the "sacred cows," sometimes they really do serve a purpose, and only someone with experience would know how to navigate this.

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