When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Already a subscriber? Log in .

You've reached your limit of one free article.

Get unlimited access to Worldcrunch

You can cancel anytime .


Exclusive International news coverage

Ad-free experience NEW

Weekly digital Magazine NEW

9 daily & weekly Newsletters

Access to Worldcrunch archives

Free trial

30-days free access, then $2.90
per month.

Annual Access BEST VALUE

$19.90 per year, save $14.90 compared to monthly billing.save $14.90.

Subscribe to Worldcrunch

Karl Marx Dies A Second Death As EU Moves To Cap Banker Bonuses

"Shadow banking", literally
"Shadow banking", literally
François Vidal


PARIS - Game over for the last of the European Marxists.

Europe is getting ready to cap the size of bonuses for bankers. New rules would prevent bankers in European Union countries from receiving bonuses higher than their annual salary. This world first would put an end to the practice that allows these “workers” to receive up to 50% of the wealth they contributed to create – right under the nose of the “capitalist” bank shareholders.

So unless the only holdout – the UK – somehow manages to derail the vote, come next year, huge bonuses will be a thing of the past. It was a question of public safety – these bonuses sometimes reached unjustifiable heights, which can sometimes be very tempting for traders, inciting them to take inconsiderate risks. Case in point the subprime crisis, the Libor scandal or rogue traders Kerviel and Adoboli.

This reform makes the European Bank like the financial world’s star pupil, the one who now offers the best security guarantee. The regulation process has been chaotic since 2008, but the goal has finally been attained. In the last five years, the risks of the Old Continent’s banking system have been significantly reduced. Prudential rules have been strengthened, monitoring has increased, the most speculative activities have been limited and now bonuses will be capped. This is a revolution, which bankers have not fully understood yet, but that certainly gives European taxpayers the feeling that they are better protected from finance’s depravation.

The problem is this is a false sense of security. For one simple reason – the field of action of this measure is too narrow. Two major actors in finance are largely able to bypass it. First, the American banks. The Basel III accord still doesn’t apply to them and they continue to grant generous bonuses. This year, Wall Street bonuses will cross the $20 billion bar. Enough to maintain the culture of greed at his highest level, while undermining European competitors.

Second, there is “shadow banking,” and more specifically the Wild West that is hedge funds. It’s an expanding market where everything goes and where bonuses are in the hundreds of millions, sometimes even billions of dollars. As long as these black zones exist, global finance isn’t done with systemic risks. The only good news is that the next financial crisis probably won’t start in Europe.

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.


A Naturalist's Defense Of The Modern Zoo

Zoos are often associated with animal cruelty, or at the very least a general animal unhappiness. But on everything from research to education to biodiversity, there is a case to be made for the modern zoo.

Photograph of a brown monkey holding onto a wired fence

A brown monkey hangs off of mesh wire

Marina Chocobar/Pexels
Fran Sánchez Becerril


MADRID — Zoos — or at least something resembling the traditional idea of a zoo — date back to ancient Mesopotamia. It was around 3,500 BC when Babylonian kings housed wild animals such as lions and birds of prey in beautiful structures known as the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

Ancient China also played a significant role in the history of zoos when the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) created several parks which hosted an assortment of animals.

In Europe, it wouldn't be until 1664 when Louis XIV inaugurated the royal menagerie at Versailles. All these spaces shared the mission of showcasing the wealth and power of the ruler, or simply served as decorations. Furthermore, none of them were open to the general public; only a few fortunate individuals, usually the upper classes, had access.

The first modern zoo, conceived for educational purposes in Vienna, opened in 1765. Over time, the educational mission has become more prominent, as the exhibition of exotic animals has been complemented with scientific studies, conservation and the protection of threatened species.

For decades, zoos have been places of leisure, wonder, and discovery for both the young and the old. Despite their past success, in recent years, society's view of zoos has been changing due to increased awareness of animal welfare, shifting sensibilities and the possibility of learning about wild animals through screens. So, many people wonder: What is the purpose of a zoo in the 21st century?

Keep reading...Show less

The latest