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Bonus Watch '11: FDIC Votes To Make Bonus Payouts Multi-Year Event

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Why do it in one year when you can do three?

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s five-member board unanimously approved a draft rule, written jointly with six other regulators, that would require large financial firms to hold on to at least half of top executives' bonuses for three years or longer. The aim is to tie the final payments to the outcomes of the employees' trades and other decisions over time. The deferral requirement, if approved, would apply to firms with $50 billion or more in assets, such as Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., and mortgage-finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Smaller firms with at least $1 billion in assets would be subject to less-prescriptive rules but would still have to satisfy regulators that top officials' incentive-based compensation balances risk and reward. [WSJ]