While most U.S. and European bulge-bracket banks strain to reconcile business needs with public image concerns in their bonus decisions, Credit Suisse has come down squarely on the side of optics.
That's how The Wall Street Journal "Heard on the Street" writer Simon Nixon reads the Swiss-based bank's announcement that it will cut its global bonus pool 5 percent (and slash pay for its UK managing directors 30 percent) to fund the UK bonus tax.
By displaying unalloyed admiration for the bank's stance, the column leaves little doubt where the Journal draws the balance between its own legacy constituency of financial professionals and its broader mass readership in the Rupert Murdoch era.
"Credit Suisse's display of leadership stands in contrast with Goldman Sachs Group..." the WSJ says. "Credit Suisse's decision to pass the burden of the bonus tax to employees is a smart public-relations move that will enhance its reputation among stakeholders."
Employees shouldn't worry, the paper asserts, because those who stay for the long term should benefit from a higher share price. It concludes by speculating that other global institutions are likely to follow Credit Suisse's lead by penalizing their own staffs to appease politicians, voters and editorialists.
Credit Suisse Shows Bonus Leadership [WSJ]
Traders Cross Swords With Sales Teams [Financial News]
Bank of America Posts Loss After Firm Repays Bailout [Bloomberg News]
Wells Fargo Reports Profit on Mortgage Banking [Bloomberg News]
Morgan Stanley's Quarter Falls Below Forecast [NY Times]
U.S. Venture Firm Plans London Exit [Financial News]
UBS Wealth Management Americas Announces Leadership Changes [Dow Jones Newswires, via Financial News]
Bank of New York Mellon, State Street Net Surge [WSJ]
Taxing Wall Street Down to Size [NY Times]
Just in Case: The Skinny on Buying Disability Insurance [WSJ]