Sunday, 12 April 2009

Obituary: The Bonus

It is with great sadness that we report the loss of a beloved friend who has been an inspiration to many of us. It was he who has been the incentive to work hard, and who has lifted us from mediocrity to excellence: the investment-banking bonus.

During his short existence the deceased touched the lives of hundreds of thousands in a remarkable fashion. Born into a world where 'leverage' was not deemed a swear word, he showed early signs of almost messianic leadership skills. When he spoke people listened, and his admirers craved his friendship and wanted to align themselves with him to form long-standing bonds.

Those close to him would not hesitate to testify how enriching his friendship was, and how it had elevated their lives to levels they could never have reached without his acquaintance.

However his life was not without controversy. Often his friendship was flighty. Those who relied too much on his alliance found themselves in a state of despair when they discovered that his favours had changed and that he had moved on to other partners.

Since people were aware of his volatile nature, they sometimes demanded written assurance of his loyalty, a practice which earned him huge criticism, in particular from those who could not secure this type of guarantee.

In the later stages of his life many of his friends were found to be involved in a global network of fraud, dodgy dealings and other misdemeanours. After the extent of these activities came to light, the late bonus was - maybe wrongly - singled out for his negative influence on the key decision makers at the heart of these aberrations.

Finding himself under intense scrutiny from media and politics, he finally succumbed to the pressure when he decided to end his colourful existence.

He is survived by his modest long-term partner, the base salary. He will be sorely missed.

First published on HereIsTheCity Life on the 4th March 2009.