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Debate: Would your bonus pass ‘the garden fence test’?

Ever suspected that you’re grossly overpaid for what you do? Resolve the question once and for all by conversing with neighbours over your garden fence.

Alistair Darling (AKA the Chancellor of the Exchequer) recommends the garden fence test for anyone with an inkling they might have been paid an undeservedly big bonus.

Before the latest twist in the Northern Rock saga became an all-engrossing affair, Darling told the Telegraph that, “People get fed up if they see others getting great big bonuses and they can’t actually see what they did. It can be extremely frustrating.”

He says one way to gauge, and therefore avoid this frustration, is to envisage a chummy conversation with Mr Smith at number 19: “If you’re leaning over the fence talking to your next-door neighbour, can you justify what you’ve done?”

And if Mr Smith doesn’t grasp the significance of 12 months spent assembling ill-fated pitchbooks or devising new forms of constant proportion portfolio insurance product? It may just be you’re paid too much.

Darling appears to be following his own advice. What with the Northern Rock nationalisation being a tangible thing that any neighbour ought to comprehend, the Telegraph reports that the chief exec and CFO will be paid 90k and 75k per month respectively – more even than John Mack.

So, what did you do to deserve all that cash?

Comments (7)

  1. Aren’t those figures quoted for the CEO and CFO and Northern Rock Monthly?? Still not much in the scheme of things though…

  2. Darling has to go…A bit too socialist.

  3. Thanks BB. The final paragraph has now been amended to reflect the fact that the Northern Rockers aren’t being paid nearly as badly as we thought.

    Sarah, Editor, eFinancialCareers Reply
  4. 90k/month to run Northern Rock…..i know it’s a turnaround but come on!!

  5. 90k/month is a bit paltry. They have to be paying him more than that.

  6. I’d LOVE to listen to Alistair Darling’s own chummy conversation with his own neighbours about what he’s done in the past twelve months to deserve his own pay packet (plus all the benefits).

    That applies whether it’s Mr Smith at number 19 he’s talking to, but particularly if it’s Mr Brown at Number 10…

  7. None of my neighbours sodding business. I do the work, I get paid. I work above and beyond, I get the bonus.

    I agree, Darling’s got to go. And he can take Brown with him. Add Ken Livingstone whith ’em, too.

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