French judges are striking because they won’t put up with Sarkozy’s shit. Norm Pattis seems to like this idea, and takes the occasion to excoriate American judges for being cowards or lapdogs or worse by comparison. American judges deserve it, of course. In spades.
But then I wonder why Norm doesn’t seem to care for the idea of a lawyers’ strike. I’m not going to say that the lawyers are feckless like the judges, because I know that’s not true: we still have guys like Norm. But how much longer are we going to put up with judges’ shit?
I guess Crown Attorneys (prosecutors) in Quebec have had it up to here, too, so they’re striking. Only the issue there is more along the lines of pay, primarily. I mean let’s face it: no prosecutors anywhere have to put up with anyone’s shit. You know, these people can prosecute you!
And to think Bennett called me crazy because I thought lawyer strikes might be a good idea and started a blog about it. If he doesn’t call French judges and Quebec Crown prosecutors crazy then he owes me a retraction. Anyway, they have no frame of reference for “crazy” in Texas: everyone qualifies in his or her own special way. The “Cops” episodes from Texas are always the most amusing, don’t you think?
And by the way, look at the strike synchronicity: judges in France and “Quebecois” Crown Attorneys. The French remain very cutting edge in art, law and politics. We Anglos are so mundane by contrast.
And finally, I got an email alert about this, which purports to be dealing with the problem of exorbitant banker bonuses, from Harvard Law School, and I need to know if this is serious or some kind of parody:
In the aftermath of the recent financial crisis, bank remuneration remains a critically sensitive issue – for shareholders, creditors, regulators, governments and the general public. This is particularly the case for those systemically important financial institutions that received government bailouts. While many of these institutions are beginning to recover, the negative effects of increased debt taken on at the public sector level to protect the financial system have resulted in serious and lingering economic problems in many countries, including the UK and the US. Indeed, the impact of public sector balance sheets absorbing losses of the banking sector has had the after-effect of contributing to sovereign debt crises in several smaller European jurisdictions — which continue to plague investors, taxpayers and the wider economy.
In this context, the legitimacy of granting substantial bonus awards to executives of systemically important banks — particularly those that have benefited from the state as a provider of financial support — is continuously, and fairly, called into question. While often played out in the media in a sensational or populist manner, this is a serious concern that calls for a fundamental rethink.
There are no easy answers. To compete in a complex environment, rebuild financial strength and wean themselves from state support, banks need to be able to attract and retain capable managers in a competitive marketplace for executive talent. We appreciate this as investors, and recognise that the ability to pay competitive salaries and to grant fairly-earned bonuses is a commercial necessity.
At the same time we believe that remuneration structures in banks generally remain problematic, and that even broad regulatory reform frameworks, such as the G20 Principles and the more recent FSA Remuneration Guidelines, have not resolved all the outstanding concerns. We are generally discouraged by the inability of banks to work together to show restraint in the area of pay, and believe that even with many remuneration reforms that have been put into place bank remuneration, in particular the granting of bonuses, will continue to be an area of controversy…
Specifically, we still have not cracked the asymmetry of reward problem sufficiently with banks. In good times bankers are set to make fortunes both at executive and below board levels of the organization; in severely bad times the state — and ultimately the tax payer — foots the bill because of their systemic importance to the economy.
Personally, I just laugh when someone begins addressing this subject by saying that “…bank remuneration remains a critically sensitive issue.” This is delicious understatement, if humor is intended. The prevailing feeling around this subject so far as I know does not believe the “remuneration” is an “issue” at all: the “issue” in all this boils down to something more like guillotine v. firing squad v. hanging for the receivers of the so-called remuneration. I have done my part to restrain these feelings here on this blog, but an opening line like that in an HLS publication isn’t helping.
Unless it’s meant as a jest.
Not to mention that if it’s not a jest things get worse from there. Note the not-so subtle equating of “populist” with “unserious” at the end of the second paragraph. Note the smug euphemism: the “asymmetry of reward problem”. There are “no easy answers”? Tell that to the angry mob that’s brewing out there. They disagree. A few heads in a basket is a pretty easy answer to the “asymmetry of reward problem”.
Of course if it’s all a joke that’s one thing. But if this is a serious post they should take it down before someone else reads it, it goes viral, and Wall Street quickly comes to resemble the Bastille in 1789.