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UBS approves bonuses

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As I've said many times before, the executive bonuses are excessive but so are the rest of the bonuses throughout the company. Everyone focused on payouts for the board room executives and ignored the tens of thousands of workers who have been making inflated annual comp plans. For those who want to complain that they worked hard and deserve it, help me understand why these workers have never been asked to pay back the money made selling garbage the last few years? You know, the billions that have been wiped off of the books? In the real world, when a company loses money, everyone has to tighten their belts. Anyone who wants to leave and try their luck elsewhere, go ahead. Now. Go see how juicy the payouts are elsewhere. Good luck and send us a postcard.

A package of more than £1 billion in bonuses for staff at UBS, the Swiss bank, is expected next month and threatens to reignite the debate over the ethics of exceptional rewards for bankers during the present worldwide banking crisis.

UBS is to pay out around SFr2 billion (£1.3 billion) in bonuses next month, despite heading for a SFr8 billion fourth-quarter loss, the biggest quarterly deficit ever sustained by a Swiss company.

The bonus payments were agreed last week by Finma, the new Swiss financial regulator, whose consent UBS is obliged to seek after it was bailed out by the Swiss Government last autumn.

Although Marcel Rohner, the chief executive, and Peter Kurer, chairman, have agreed to forgo their bonuses for 2008, the bank's 77,000 employees will receive performance-related payments in next month's wage packet.

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