We’re talking banking not plumbing, Germany not Ohio, Ackermann not Wurzelbacher. Yes, we’re talking about the chief executive officer of Deutsche Bank who announced that he and a slew of other top dogs at Deutsche will not be reaping millions in bonus payouts this year and, in fact, will not be reaping any bonus payouts this year.
In Ackermann’s words, he’s doing this because there are “deserving employees that need the money more than I do.” In other words, "We lost a bundle and a half this year and the bonus pool is barely covering our ankles."
The announcement coincided with UBS head Pete Kurer saying he probably won’t be cashing a bonus check this year, either, due to similar steep losses at the Union Bank of Switzerland.
Though this cash foregoing on the part of chiefs might appear to be a new trend in banking, don’t forget that Morgan Stanley CEO Johnny Mack the Knife gave up his bonus last year and Lehman Brothers head Dick I Won’t Be Fuld Again said he’d give up his payday this year (an announcment he made last summer, before his firm went bust). Even so, it’s likely that more European CEOs will be forced to follow Joe's example and void their bonus checks, meaning American chiefs will likely not be too far behind.