Compensation Practices Found To Have No Bearing On Financial Crisis, Says Panel

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No, just messing with you. Banker pay "fueled risk that hobbled the economy," according the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission's report, released today.

Stock-option bonuses motivated financial firms to use leverage to boost returns, and traders were given “aggressive incentives” to dissuade them from defecting, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission wrote in a 545-page book outlining its findings. Regulators had difficulty recruiting financial professionals, who could earn more working in the private sector, said the panel, which was appointed by Congress. “The dangers of the new pay structures were clear, but senior executives believed they were powerless to change it,” the panel wrote.

Naturally, Sandy Weill was asked to weigh in.

Former Citigroup Inc. Chief Executive Officer Sanford Weill told the commission, “If you look at the results of what happened on Wall Street, it became ‘Well, this one’s doing it, so how can I not do it?’”

[Bloomberg]

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