The News: Bonus War Escalates

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Government measures to tax and otherwise rein in bankers' compensation have shifted to the fast lane, with major new steps rushing toward adoption in the U.S., UK and Europe.

In the U.S., Treasury Department pay czar Kenneth Feinberg's dictates for the second tier of high earners at six institutions he oversees are looking tougher than many in the industry had thought they would, according to Thursday's Wall Street Journal. The WSJ says Feinberg is poised to cap salaries at $500,000 for the 26th through 100th highest paid employees at the firms, which include Citigroup and AIG.

Anticipation of that set of rulings, which we've dubbed "Feinberg II," is prompting Citigroup to accelerate efforts to repay the government by conducting a $10 - 15 billion stock offering.

Perhaps the biggest fresh development Thursday: French President Nicolas Sarkozy is set to add a 50 percent tax on bonuses to France's budget bill, now going through parliament. That would essentially duplicate a UK government move earlier this week to impose 50 percent tax on discretionary bonuses that exceed 25,000 ($41,000) for any employee.

Firms Face New Curbs on Pay [WSJ]

France to Impose Tax on Bank Bonuses [FT]

Citi Is Eager to Pay Back Bailout Aid [NY Times]

Bankers Fail to Clear Bonus Clouds [FT]

The War on Greed [FT]

Thumbs Up for U.K. Bonus Tax [WSJ]

Three Ways to Fish in the Global Talent Pool [, via Bloomberg]

Financial Adviser Named One Of Top 10 Jobs For Women Over 40 [Investment News]

For Older Workers, a Reluctant Retirement [WSJ]

Central Pacific Bank to Exit California Market [Central Pacific Bank, via PRN]

Are Goldman Sachs Bankers Really Carrying Guns? [WSJ]

No, reports the WSJ, refuting an earlier Bloomberg story that got a lot of play including here on eFinancialCareers News.

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