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E.U. clamping down on banker bonuses

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Bill Radke: Today, European leaders are preparing for battle ahead of next week’s G20 Summit in Pittsburgh. Much of the E.U. wants a big clampdown on bankers’ bonuses. The U.S. and the U.K. are resisting. From London, Stephen Beard has more.


Stephen Beard: Bonuses are shaping up to be the toughest item on the Pittsburgh agenda. The U.S. and much of Europe are still divided over the issue. Many E.U. leaders want a cap on what they call “excessive” bankers pay. They want clear guidelines and real sanctions against any banks that break them.

But the U.S. and Britain take a different position. They have the biggest financial centers; they don’t want to drive banks away by trying to dictate levels of compensation.

Philip Whyte is with the European Reform Group. He says continental European leaders are responding to their own voters’ concerns:

Philip Whyte: There’s a widespread perception that the financial crisis was built up in the U.K. and the United States and that those two countries bear the primary responsibility for the mess that we’ve found ourselves in.

At today’s meeting, the E.U. leaders will seek to hammer out a common policy to take to next week’s summit in Pittsburgh.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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