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Controlling Banker's Bonuses: Efficient Regulation or Politics of Envy?

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Abstract

The positive relationship between bank CEO compensation and risk taking is a well established empirical fact. The global banking crisis has resulted in a chorus of demands to control banker's bonuses and thereby curtail their risk taking activities in the hope that the world can avoid a repeat in the future. However, the positive relationship is not a causative one. In this paper we argue that the cushioning of banks downside risks provide the incentive for banks to take excessive risk and design compensation packages to deliver high returns. Macro-prudential regulation will have a better chance of curbing excess risk taking than controlling banker's compensation.

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  • Matthews, Kent & Matthews, Owen, 2009. "Controlling Banker's Bonuses: Efficient Regulation or Politics of Envy?," Cardiff Economics Working Papers E2009/27, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business School, Economics Section.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdf:wpaper:2009/27
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    Keywords

    Banker's bonus; risk taking; Too-big-to-Fail; macro-prudential regulation;

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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