It you need our money just to fatten your own wallet, go right ahead

Adam Schwab in yesterday’s Crikey on revelations from the AFR’s annual executive salary review:

As usual, Australia’s leading bankers collected remuneration that would make ordinary workers shudder. Despite the Big Four banks being blessed with taxpayer monies in the form of deposit and wholesale funding guarantees, ANZ’s Mike Smith collected $13 million, CBA’s Ralph Norris $9 million and Westpac’s Gail Kelly $8.5 million.

Don’t you feel happy to have contributed?

mikesmithanz
Mike Smith (ANZ) says thank you.

ralphnorriscba
Ralph Norris (CBA) says thank you.

gailkellywbc
Gail Kelly (Westpac) says thank you.

cameronclynenab
And Cameron Clyde (NAB) would say thank you but he’s too busy laughing at us.

What’s more, our largesse to the already ludicrously rich and powerful made them even less answerable to the market:

The taxpayer-funded bank assistance also helped destroy any competition from non-bank lenders in the mortgage market while the government continues to dawdle in restricting the banks’ ability to charge possibly illegal penalty fees. One would hope that Mike, Ralph, Gail and Cameron all chip in for a nice bottle of Bollinger for their good friends Kevin and Wayne this Christmas.

Seriously, why are both major parties incapable of demanding reform from these corrupt institutions before giving them taxpayers’ money?

And why do media organisations work so hard to direct our anger into other areas? (Note to anyone who’s used the word “elites” to describe lefties with blogs – may I introduce you to Mike, Ralph, Gail and Cameron?)

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25 responses to “It you need our money just to fatten your own wallet, go right ahead

  1. Because the opposition leader is an ex-banker and the Prime Minister is a Very Wealth Man. They do not give a shit.

  2. …and they like patting each other on the back, before, during and after holding office?

  3. “And why do media organisations work so hard to direct our anger into other areas?”

    You’re joking, right?

    “Cruden investments”, “$60M”, “Queensland Press”, “News Limited”, “Commonwealth Bank”.

  4. “giving them taxpayers’ money”

    Have they actually received any money under the guarantees? My understanding was that the money flow went the other way – the banks paid the government for the guarantees.

    Also, it looks from the link above that the guarantee was available to a wide range of institutions. The lack of competition from non-bank lenders is a serious issue. The question is whether it was caused by the guarantee scheme.

  5. Given that they’re worth real money to them – much of their business is converting risk into cash – then yes, effectively we have.

  6. Obviously they received a benefit (which they paid for), but have the taxpayers really given ‘money’. They definitely received money by way of fees. But they don’t appear to be out of pocket at all.

  7. Sir “Chuck” Norris earned $9 million. I guess that makes him 138 times more productive than the average employee.. capitalism sure can produce some superhuman workers!

    nab should employ him on the bank tellers, he could roundhouse kick the queue in record time. maybe he could “solo” man the 6 closed branches in victoria…

  8. I’ve said it before but one thing I’ll never forgive Hawke/Keating, and consequently the ALP, for is selling ‘the People’s Bank’.

    It was the perfect in which to control the banks who are just not, and never will be, competitive.

    It’s interesting that UK banks can survive without account charges and penalty fees.

    What did the taxpayer get for the support of the banks during the GFC? Interest rate rises on top of the RBA’s cash rate (the last interest drop by RBA took over two months to come into effect at St George), no drop in credit card interest charges.

    I hate banks … I really do just as much as our capitalist, religious and right-wing prime minister and this toadying MPs (whatever happened to principles with the left-wingers? No matter who you elect you end up with a self-interested politician).

  9. “.. a perfect too…” of course.

    Geez … I should slow down and not type in anger … did I say I hate banks and right-wing ALP govts?

  10. I did it again (face palm) ” … a perfect tool …”

    I’m going to have lunch and a G&T to calm me down.

  11. Daphon, – “perfect tool”.

    Just kidding. Sometimes I just can’t help myself.

  12. I wonder if any of them received a $900.00 stimulus cheque?

  13. Shamelessness isn’t restricted to the banks. The Managing Director of Wesfarmers has just received a 40% pay rise.

  14. I like it when they, their lobbyists (employers’ organisations) and political representatives (the Liberal Party and the right of the ALP) dare to tell Australian workers about “wage restraint”.

  15. Look!So long as workers get enough to buy luxuries like food and clothes, what’s the problem?

  16. “ANZ’s Mike Smith collected $13 million, CBA’s Ralph Norris $9 million and Westpac’s Gail Kelly $8.5 million.”

    Hmm, this proves that women get paid less than men for the same role 😉

    Yeah – it’s obscene, what Keri said, and what I usually insinuate, our leaders are more interested in satisfying the demands of big business rather than be representative of the electorate.

  17. A few randon memories from 40 years in the banking sector.
    In 1971 BNSW made a “record” profit of $10m and we all received a bonus of $100. (about a weeks salary if I remember) Westpac profit for 2009 will be in the order of $4bn. a 400 times increase (you can do the profitability figures)
    Mid 1970’s the “CEO” of BNSW was earning less than $90,000. This was about 50% more than this IT worker.
    Sometime in the early 80’s we had to modify the payroll system when his salary exceeded $100,000pa
    When I left another large Aust bank the CEO was being gifted (excluding bonuses and share options) about 40 times this IT worker (who had worked his way up a bit)
    There is certainly a penality to pay when running a large public company but the salary differential between the responsibility levels does not reflect either the talent, risk or effort

  18. philip travers

    But Westpac turns off its lights! ANZ supported The Greens amongst its higher paid executives,accompanying Bob Brown to a look-see.It may have been the Bank of Melbourne had already failed.

  19. Bryan, I believe the paradigm they use is “Snouts in the Trough”.

  20. Bryan, thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Your short examples point to the excess in modern day capitalism. The contrast between top and bottom is the most sad indictment on the whole system.

    Even when the buffoons stuff up they are paid more money to go away.

  21. Ooops, sorry. That should have been “$600M” re the questionably legal Murdoch/Cruden/CBA deal which brought the world to where it is when Murdoch should by rights have ended up a bit like Alan Bond.

    Bryan: Thanks. Good point well made.

  22. I like it when they, their lobbyists (employers’ organisations) and political representatives (the Liberal Party and the right of the ALP) dare to tell Australian workers about “wage restraint”.

    That makes me sick too Jeremy. This year the lowest paid in our society get no pay rise because the ‘Fair Pay’ Commission deemed it, legalising wage restraint for the most vulnerable workers.

    Where’s the restraint from the fat cats?

  23. Crap…stuffed up my HTML. Oh well.

  24. good post lefty. I wonder how far our gini coefficient will rise before “things” start happening..

  25. Awesome, I didn’t know about that till now. Thankz.

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