G20 Leaders Have The Right Idea

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With the bonus rhetoric hitting a fever pitch ahead of the G20 slumber party, it might be time to take a step back and see whether or not the collective brain trust has actually come up with something. These are the people who speak for the most powerful countries in the world after all. If you discount the bit about imposing sanctions on banks that pay the always undefined "excessive" bonuses and look to the heart of the matter, there may be something worthwhile to discuss.
The primary complaint is clear: compensation packages have historically rewarded short term gains without thought for long term consequences. But the question is who are lawmakers really talking about, bankers or themselves? If you believe the words coming from the White House over the past few generations, no sitting president has ever caused a problem. He has always inherited them from his predecessors who were making decisions for short-term election gains at the expense of the long term health of the country.
So, as global leaders, this is your opportunity to lead by example. You want to demonstrate that clawbacks are useful tool for bankers? Offer to give up the proceeds of the book deal that inevitably follows the end of a term in office if the new guy winds up suffering from a mess you made. Do something that makes you financially accountable for your actions in office once you've left. This is your shot to prove to people that there's no double standard here and you're willing to put your money where your mouth is. It doesn't sound so sweet when the tables are turned, does it?

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