Incongruent headlines

Spotted one under the other in the BBC website news section just now:

Headline 1 – “G20 finance ministers ask eurozone to boost rescue fund”

Eurozone countries need to put more money in their rescue fund before G20 nations can step in to help them, the G20 finance ministers have said.

They said such a move was “essential” to their decision to provide more resources to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help the region.

Headline 2 – “HSBC annual profits reach £13.8bn”

HSBC’s annual profits rose 15% to £13.8bn ($21.9bn) in what it called a year of “major progress”.

The bank is the biggest in Europe and makes about 90% of its profits outside the UK.

That’s not the first time I’ve noticed two such headlines next to each other, one demonstrating what excellent progress a bank is making next to another showing how the rest of us are still in the cack.

Additional text went on to advise us that:

HSBC’s total bonus pool for the year to 31 December was £2.64bn.

The group chief executive, Stuart Gulliver, received a total pay award of £7.2m, made up of a £1.2m salary, a £2.2m bonus and long-term incentives of £3.75m, which is in shares and cannot be sold until he retires or leaves the bank. Mr Gulliver was not the top earner this year, however. Another senior bank employee, who has not been named, will receive £8m in total. More than 200 key employees in the UK earned a total of £53m.

The size of the remuneration was seen as inappropriate by some, partly because the bank is currently in the process of cutting 30,000 jobs worldwide as part of wide-ranging cost-cutting measures designed to save up to £2.2bn by 2013.

Irrespective of where you stand on the question of “It was the banks what dun it!”, you have to believe this kind of adjacency will not have a happy ending.

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5 thoughts on “Incongruent headlines

  1. Meanwhile the bank is telling its workaday employees to take one for the team so it can remain competitive. After all, you can’t be competitive if you aren’t giving your top people (those responsible for not foreseeing the bubble, mismanaging it when it happened, scampering away when it became inconvenient, and finally denying all responsibility for anything that happened at any time anywhere) top pay.

  2. Top executives are highly overated, overpaid and then they run away with our money without consequences or guilt.

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