'Some Executives Didn't Hear Bang' Germany's Steinbrück Warns of Return of 'Casino Capitalism'

Germany's finance minister, known for his fierce criticism of banking excesses that caused the global financial crisis, is warning that the plague of "casino capitalism" is returning to some banking centers. He also takes a stab at German executives.


With the return of profits, banks and executives are again getting large bonuses. "Some didn't hear the bang," warns Germany's Peer Steinbrück.
REUTERS

With the return of profits, banks and executives are again getting large bonuses. "Some didn't hear the bang," warns Germany's Peer Steinbrück.

German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück is going after bankers and executives again -- at least via the media . This time he's warning about the return of the old culture of " casino capitalism."

"In some financial centers abroad there is such a tendency," Steinbrück told the southern German Passauer Neue Presse newspaper. "In the United States and Britain, lobbyists are already questioning some regulatory measures."

But the finance minister didn't reserve his criticism for New York and London alone. In Germany, too, he said, "some board members and executives still haven't learned that the times have changed when it comes to the issue of bonus payments." Some, he said, "live in another world."

"Some executives didn't hear the bang," he continued. "They are responsible for the the fact that approval of our system of doing business is waning," he added, referring to exorbitant payments and bonuses to banking executives. The minister, a member of the center-left Social Democrats, also criticized Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives, with whom his party is in coalition, for not heeding his party's demand to limit the ability of companies in Germany to deduct bonus payments as expenditures. "Taxpayers are continuing to completely finance big bonuses," he said.

dsl -- with wires

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