January 4, 2011; Source: Civil Society | The head of the U.K. Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO), Stephen Bubb, is calling for a 50 percent tax on the bonuses that bankers are getting this year. Good for him! In the U.S., after having driven the economy into a devastating recession, banks are raking in record profits, even after they repay some of their TARP subsidies, and they have rewarded their top staff with amazingly lucrative bonuses.
Bubb is soon to be knighted, joining Stuart Etherington, chief executive at the National Council of Voluntary Organisations (NCVO). Perhaps the new title will help Sir Bubb push through his tough, creative proposal that he hopes will generate funding for Prime Minister David Cameron's big society bank.
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The U.S. government has jawboned against these types of bonuses and in some cases has gotten top bankers to forego their six- and seven-figure treats. British bankers will get an estimated £7 billion in bonuses this year. Getting them to dedicate half that sum to the big society bank would be a kickstart and a half for the Tory/Liberal government's social program. Which U.S. nonprofits will call on this nation's banking sector to dedicate half of its huge recession surplus to American charities?—Rick Cohen