In the early months of 1989, few Germans and almost no international relations specialists believed that the Berlin Wall, the symbol par excellence, of a divided Germany, would be reduced to rubble by the end of the year. But what ordinary Germans were saying - in larger and larger numbers - was that "This can't go on". They didn't really know what they wanted or what would replace it and they certainly didn't know who would lead the process of change. Much the same could be said of the situation with bankers pay today. But it is not just members of the public who are now saying "this can't go on". Here are three comments from within the financial sector. "The study this month by the Council of Institutional Investors in the US found that in many respects things had actually got worse from an investor perspective: the deferral of a higher proportion of bonuses led some banks to pay bigger salaries and bonuses overall, to increase the fixed costs at investment banks, and – perversely – encouraged some traders to take big short-term overall risks to maximise how much they would get paid this year."
"Painful though it may be to write the words, it is perhaps time to start wondering whether the politicians and regulators might have been right all along."
"The current engagement approach – company by company, country by country – hasn’t worked. Institutional investors owe it to their end beneficiaries to show more determination and be more creative in how they approach this crisis situation"