Sad news in today - the city's big earners can expect to lap up bonuses that are around 60% smaller than last year. Londonist have done our maths (we didn't even use a calculator) and have worked out that if a million pound pile popped up in your bank account last year, you'll only get £400,000 this year! The cruel crunch strikes again.
Aside from the fact that the biggest bonuses are worth more than the GDP of entire countries, there are of course long chains of consequences to the decreasing wealth of the super-rich. We already know that across the pond, divorce rates are soaring amongst the wealthy, with some individuals terrified their spouses will leave them because their net worth has sunk to the paltry sum of $8 million. Back on the island, times are tough too. There are the small things - buying the Christmas turkey from Lidl instead of Harrods Food Hall, for example. Could Harrods Food Hall fold? What about the people who work in Harrods? The thing is, these unfortunate externalities that do affect your Joe Sixpacks, to borrow a term, might be necessary in the short-term to create a fairer system.
There is a promise that obscenely large bonuses will be a thing of the past, and a culture of smaller bonuses will be created which are related to long-term performance. The relative silence from big earners on the bonus fallout demonstrates how difficult it is to justify it all - if financial CEOs work hard then so do we all, and so do nurses, and teachers, and social workers. In the past everyone has shrugged - this is just the way the world works, pal. If there is a sense that everything is falling around our ears at the moment, maybe there's at least the potential that something more egalitarian could come out of the struggle ahead.
Image of foreclosed home from bbcworldservice's photostream under the Creative Commons License.