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Germany

Deutsche Bank And The Thorny Question Of Banker Bonuses

Deutsche Bank's new chief John Cryan believes end-of-year bonus demands harm the company. But bonus culture may be too deeply embedded throughout the financial sector.

Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt, Germany
Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt, Germany
Meike Schreiber

FRANKFURT — When John Cryan speaks, people listen very carefully. And not just because the Deutsche Bank co-chief executive has a low voice, but also because every sentence is like a lick with the whip. He took apart the "lousy" IT crowd during his very first press conference, and now he's turning on his own and the "excess riches" of the banker bonus system.

To fully appreciate the importance of his statement, it's necessary to understand what makes bankers tick. While employees in other sectors work hard without receiving bonuses, simply because they want to deliver good work, top bankers still see themselves as entrepreneurs within their own companies. By their own logic, they demand a portion of the profits made, while shareholders or taxpayers are held liable for the losses.

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Coronavirus

In Shanghai, A Brewing Expat Exodus As COVID Crackdown Shows "Real" China

Not only strict rules of freedom of movement as part of Zero-COVID policy but also an increase in censorship has raised many questions for the expat population in the megacity of 26 million that had long enjoyed a kind of special status in China as a place of freedom and openness. A recent survey of foreigners in the Chinese megacity found that 48% of respondents said they would leave Shanghai within the next year.

People walk in Tianzifang, located in Huangpu District, a well-known tourist attraction in Shanghai.

Lili Bai

SHANGHAI — On the seventh day of the lockdown, Félix, a French expat who has worked in Shanghai for four years, texted his boss: I want to "run,' mais je sais pas quand (but I don’t know when). A minute later, he received a reply: moi aussi (me too).

Félix had recently learned the new Mandarin word 润 (run) from social network postings of his local friends. Because its pinyin “rùn” is the same as the English word “run,” Chinese youth had begun to use it to express their wish to escape reality, either to “be freed from mundane life”, or to “run toward your future.”

For foreigners like Félix, by associating the expression “run” with the feeling of the current lockdown in Shanghai, “everything makes sense.” Félix recalled how at the end of March, the government denied rumors of an impending lockdown: “My Chinese colleagues all said, Shanghai is China’s top city, there would be no lockdown no matter what.”

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