Congress should pass an act. If you are on wall street, you should not get paid less that $150,000 (put your number).
They argue, that majority of wall street workers make measly $150k, so the bonus amounts are not outrageous. So, are they arguing $150k to be the minimum wages?
They made money on their skills. Borrowing at 0% and buying market with that money is a great skill (GS made a lot of money by shorting vol in March 2008: equivalent of getting long the markets).
In an ordinary year, they spend 15% of time to fight for compensation. The best of the best (GS), even have their former employees in governments working for them.
They talk about the challenges of retaining talent. Ah, so where are they going to go? Hedge funds? How many will go to hedge funds? Why should everybody be paid large sums because select few want to go to hedge funds.
Banking is about borrowing and lending with proper controls. That is their value add to the society. They should be at par with the rest of the society.
If they create businesses, they should start companies, and get paid accordingly (no harm if they go to hedge funds for that). If they create businesses for banks, how do they bring more value to the table than the guy who starts Domina’s pizza franchise in India.
Let me tell you the real reason. Peer pressure! The cost of living in NYC and LN is so high (your kids go to $35k private schools. You need $100 dinners. You need “fill in the blanks”). They can’t survive without such large compensations.
The guy next door (the hedge fund guy) makes so much money. They want to make that too, and are not willing to take the risk. Solution, demand from the confused system.