Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sympathy? What sympathy?

Wall Street apologist Geoff Colvin has done it again. In his recent Value Driven article ("Sympathy for the Devils", FORTUNE, May 25), Colvin argued that Wall Street shouldn't be punished [for the excesses] because "restoring profitability to the banks will require paying bonuses". He further tried to lay blame for the public outrage on a matter of bad timing.

Somehow I think it is Colvin's article that suffers from bad timing. I'm surprised he hasn't woken up to the different circumstances we are now in, and his sense of entitlement is breathtaking.

I don't begrudge paying for performance. But rewards must commensurate with results, not responsibilities. If you did what you're hired to do (e.g. restore profitability to the firm), I don't see any reason why this entails paying bonuses unless you deliver above and beyond what's stated in your job description.

Related post:
Colvin's rant against government intervention


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