Reading the huge sums paid to various banking officials got me thinking: What exactly do you have to do in the banking sector before you are deemed not to have carried out your duties in a way that does not warrant remuneration? I mean, these guys destroyed their own banks as private entities. Actually destroyed them. Did they mention that at the interview, and if they had, what would the interview panel have said?
“I’m sorry?” asked the panel chairperson.
“I was just asking a question. If I run the bank into the ground. I do still get paid, don’t I?” asked the prospective CEO.
What would they have answered? Going by the various defences the banks have been giving, the answer must be “Yes.” That running the bank into the ground is not deemed an unacceptable action by a Irish bank CEO. I wonder what is?
I’ve been thinking about this. If the CEO came in, butchered his staff, and started feasting on their carcasses, what would happen? Obviously, he’d be done for murder. But would he be sacked by the bank? Again, it’s touch and go, but probably, although his counsel could argue that identifying a bank with cannibalism is probably no more harmful than the current image associated with Irish banking.
But would he be paid his full salary and golden handshake? Almost certainly. And the defence given by learned counsel on that would be that at no stage did his contract stipulate that his bonus and exit payment would be forfeit if he devoured members of staff. Indeed there’s an argument that he was reducing the bank’s overheads, pension and health insurance costs by eating staff. And that by doing so, he increased his own cholesterol risk significantly by binge eating so much red meat. It’s not impossible to believe that he would then go on and sue the bank on health and safety grounds due to the fact that at no stage did the company provide him with training as to the dangers of cannibalism.