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Morning Coffee: Bonus Caps: Fair or Foul?

Bankers throughout Europe may soon be asking for a higher base salary if an EU proposal becomes law. Under the terms of the draft, tentatively agreed upon by the European Parliament, a banker’s bonus would be capped at two times their base salary, and that’s if they’re lucky.

The initial cap would be a 1:1 salary-to-bonus ratio, meaning bankers wouldn’t be able to earn a bonus larger than their base compensation, according to Bloomberg. However, the threshold could be extended to double the value of a banker’s base salary if a majority of shareholders offer consent.

While a number of hurdles remain, officials involved in the negotiations are optimistic that a law could be agreed upon by as soon as the end of the year.

If such a rule is in place, it will be interesting to see if European bankers fight more aggressively for a higher base salary, knowing it’s their only bridge to a financial windfall come the end of the year. Traditionally, bankers worry less about their weekly paycheck than they do their slice of the year-end pie. Soon, the two may be married.

What the EU may be missing, though, is that cash bonuses have their upside, not just for employees, but for banks and the overall economy as well. Let New York Magazine’s Kevin Roose explain.

I-Banking Cuts (WSJ)

Barclays is expected to eliminate as many as 2,000 jobs within its investment banking unit early next year, with most cuts occurring in Asia and continental Europe. U.S. employees appear safe, for now.

Tall Fine (NY Times)

UBS is expected to be fined more than $1 billion for its role in the Libor rate-fixing scandal.

Punching Numbers (Bloomberg)

If you want to know how the rate-fixing went down – in detail – read this. It sounds easier than you can possibly imagine.

Help Wanted…Badly (WSJ)

The European Central Bank will become the sole supervisor of EU banks. As we reported earlier, the central bank will need plenty of staffing help to get the job done.

Bonuses Slashed (Bloomberg)

With revenues declining, commodity traders will likely see pay fall for the third consecutive year as firms cut back on year-end bonuses.

Hot Sector (Financial News)

If Barclays and Bank of America Merrill Lynch are right, 2013 will be a big year for the equity markets.

Billion, Not Million (Financial News)

Need more evidence that the financial sector was corrupt? The largest banks in the U.S. and Europe will combine to pay more than $13 billion in regulatory fines this year.

Looking West (eFinancialCareers)

Japan’s Mitsubishi plans to grow its business in London, the U.S. and Asia. We think.

Buzz Around the Office

Rejected…Again (MSN)

If Kris Humphries is on television, chances are strong things will end badly. First the Kim Kardashian wedding, and now this.

List of the Day: Online Profile

When it comes to job seeking, your online profile can be nearly as important as your professional portfolio. Here’s how to stay out of the crosshairs.

  1. Don’t post photos that make you look unprofessional.
  2. Don’t be overly outspoken on social networking sites.
  3. Avoid vulgarities and obscenities.

(Source: Glassdoor)

AUTHORBeecher Tuttle US Editor

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