A reader wrote to Lucy Kellaway of the FT, asking for advice on the following problem:
I work for a US bank in London and was last week given a bonus for 2008. It was 60 per cent of the 2007 bonus; it is a sign of the respect my managers have for me and I am grateful for it.
However, my bank has received billions of dollars of support from the US government, meaning that my bonus is being paid for not by the bank’s shareholders but by taxpayers – which seems entirely inappropriate.
What should I do? Give it back? Give it to charity? Resign? Or stop worrying and take it on the grounds that the bank was perfectly entitled to pay its staff what it considered necessary to motivate and keep them?
Banker, male, 35
This sounds more of a problem for US taxpayers than guilt-ridden bankers. However, I did like this piece of advice from a commenter Euan, a credit analyst from London:
Buy yourself an American made car. Bish Bash Bosh: guilt eased, money returned to the government, American jobs saved for another fortnight.