German Economy Minister Michael Glos said Tuesday that he wants investment bankers to forego their bonuses as a way to acknowledge the damage they caused in the current financial crisis.
Will bankers give up their bonuses?
"A bit more humility would look good in the faces of those bankers who are responsible for the crisis," Glos told the regional newspaper Passauer Neue Presse in an interview.
"A sign of penitence and change would perhaps help restore some of the confidence lost in banks and their managers," he added.
Following Deutsche Bank's lead
Deutsche Bank head Josef Ackermann recently announced he would give up his annual bonus of several million euros to show solidarity with his staff. He also said that other senior board members at the bank would follow suit.
Ackermann might not get a bonus, but he's still well paid
Ackermann is one of Germany's highest-paid bosses, with an annual salary of more than 10 million euros ($13 million). Ackermann had angered politicians in Berlin this week by saying that he would be "ashamed" if his bank were to require a state-financed bailout.
The government called the remarks "unacceptable."
Banks that turned the state for aid should be seen as being "courageous" and "responsible," Government spokesman Thomas Steg said.