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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The $51M a Day Write Off

Congratulations to HSBC who have so managed to mire themselves in the disaster of the US sub prime market that they are now forced to write off $51M per day in bad loans.

HSBC announced that they wrote off $11.7BN in bad loans last year, mainly from US sub prime defaults, and that this situation was still deteriorating.

Stephen Green, HSBC's chairman, said:

"We're not in a position to say we've turned the corner or passed the worst."

The greed, arrogance and stupidity of the banks have brought about this mess. Regrettably the people who will suffer the most are the poor saps who had these loans foisted on them in the first place, and those who are more financially sound who now seek to borrow money, as the banks retrench from the loans market.

Needless to say, the senior management of the banks do not intend to allow themselves to suffer. Without any hint of irony, HSBC released details of a new executive reward scheme which will allow bonus awards of up to 400%.

Michael Geoghegan, the chief executive, could in theory "earn" a bonus of up to £4M on top of his base salary of £1.07M. He earned £3.5M last year.

Another, unnamed, director of HSBC managed to earn £10M in pay and bonuses last year.

Nice work if you can get it!

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