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What I am missing in the piece is why banking is different from other functions in this regard. You write:
So I benefit from (i) dealing with large amounts (anything below a million is chump change), (ii) being very specialised (and thus harder to replace), (iii) being on the front line with the client (thus able to influence outcomes and claim credit) and (iv) actually getting deals done (hey, give us a little bit of credit!).

Let's compare that to a an operator in an oil refinery or other chemical plant, someone who literally controls the tap of a plant delivering millions of euros every day. But no one expects this person to receive 1% of the plants output, even if he has the ability to shut customers off.

Perhaps the " being very specialised (and thus harder to replace)" bit is important, but again I am quite sure that somewhere in the plant hierarchy there is going to be a highly educated plant manager with decades of experience who is hard to replace and highly critical for the plant operation, but still is not earning a poor banker's salary.

I mean, if bankers are keeping too much of the flow going past them, and that might well be true, what is keeping people from setting up another bank, with lower bonuses and lower prices to their customers for the same services?

And if bankers are using their special relation with customers to force their company to pay bonuses, why not fire them? Just imagine what would happen if VW's drivetrain engineers said "Without an engine the car won't run, so we need a bonus or we won't design engines"

I would really like to hear why bankers and banks have (had?) this apparent bargaining power that highly skilled people in other sectors do not seem to have.

by GreatZamfir on Tue Feb 3rd, 2009 at 05:29:45 AM EST

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