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Dutch bankers’ bonuses axed by people power

Posted on March 28th, 2011 at 23:10 by Paul Jay in category: Robber Barons


An online campaign has overturned ING’s executive pay policy, and the mood in Amsterdam is getting increasingly militant about bonuses at bailed-out banks.

Britain has a rival when it comes to bashing bankers. After a furious row over pay packages at Amsterdam-based ING in which thousands of customers threatened to make mass withdrawals, the Netherlands is now vying for the title of Europe‘s most bonus-hating country.

A growing Dutch political storm could end with a blanket ban on bonuses to financiers who work for institutions bailed out by the taxpayer.

ING customers mobilised on Twitter and other social networks to protest at bonuses paid to bosses at the bank, one of the biggest in the country. The threat of direct action raised the spectre of a partial run on ING, terrifying the Dutch establishment. Fred Polhout, union organiser at the bank, says: “People were outraged. We heard about the bloated sums being paid again in the City and in New York; but suddenly the issue exploded on our own front door.”

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  1. And this is ING with their squeaky-clean frugal Dutch “Save your money” image.

A Shabby Crusade in Wisconsin

Posted on March 28th, 2011 at 19:48 by John Sinteur in category: News


The latest technique used by conservatives to silence liberal academics is to demand copies of e-mails and other documents. Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli of Virginia tried it last year with a climate-change scientist, and now the Wisconsin Republican Party is doing it to a distinguished historian who dared to criticize the state’s new union-busting law. These demands not only abuse academic freedom, but make the instigators look like petty and medieval inquisitors.

The historian, William Cronon, is the Frederick Jackson Turner and Vilas research professor of history, geography and environmental studies at the University of Wisconsin, and was recently elected president of the American Historical Association. Earlier this month, he was asked to write an Op-Ed article for The Times on the historical context of Gov. Scott Walker’s effort to strip public-employee unions of bargaining rights. While researching the subject, he posted on his blog several critical observations about the powerful network of conservatives working to undermine union rights and disenfranchise Democratic voters in many states.

In particular, he pointed to the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative group backed by business interests that circulates draft legislation in every state capital, much of it similar to the Wisconsin law, and all of it unmatched by the left. Two days later, the state Republican Party filed a freedom-of-information request with the university, demanding all of his e-mails containing the words “Republican,” “Scott Walker,” “union,” “rally,” and other such incendiary terms.

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  1. I’m surprised they bother with the FOI stuff. Lying, exaggerating and invention of facts is nothing to these b’tard sons of Karl Rove. Perhaps they’ve run out of ideas to actually lie about. Like a frigging dog whistle, their followers just follow the sound of incoherent ranting. Sad state of affairs.

    Meanwhile, across the border, a leader of the opposition in the Canadian election has called the current Prime Minister “a liar” causing a collective sharp intake of breath, “Ooh!”

  2. Sue, I like looking north for an example of lovely American Civilization – Call me naive? After reading the same bully tactic is being used up there, I certainly feel more so:

  3. Back to the venerable question – how do you know when a politician is lying? Their lips move…