The Telegraph reports:
Rules to limit the rewards would drive well-paid financiers out of the City and harm the economy, Mr Johnson said, insisting that the plans were doomed to failure.
“This is possibly the most deluded measure to come from Europe since Diocletian tried to fix the price of groceries across the Roman Empire,” Mr Johnson said.
The last Roman ruler to persecute Christians, Diocletian brought stability to the empire after the chaotic third century. In 301AD, he passed his edict on prices, an unsuccessful attempt to stop inflation by imposing maximum prices on common goods.
I like a politician that knows his history.
The mayor’s comments put pressure on David Cameron to water down the new EU bonus rules, agreed provisionally in Brussels this week.
Under them, annual bonuses will not be allowed to exceed a banker’s salary, starting next year. Bonuses of twice annual salary will be allowed if shareholders approve them.
Oh, why stop there. Let’s also pass a law saying account executives can’t have commission in excess of their base salary.
Supporters of the cap say it will discourage bankers from pursuing the sort of high-risk deals that helped cause the financial crisis. Opponents point out that hedge funds, private equity companies and other financial firms are unaffected.
Mr Johnson said the rules would only harm Europe.
“Brussels cannot control the global market for banking talent. Brussels cannot set pay for bankers around the world,” he said.
“The most this measure can hope to achieve is a boost for Zurich and Singapore and New York at the expense of a struggling EU.” Mr Johnson added: “People will wonder why we stay in the EU if it persists in such transparently self-defeating policies.”
Well there will be a referendum in 2016, if the Conservatives win re-election.