Bonus Reform? Try Bogus Reform.

After the deluge comes the yacht party. A new year, a new bonus season for investment banks--with payouts a lot bigger than last year's and in some cases probably approaching the records hauls of the boom years. The United Kingdom has passed new rules requiring banks to hold back most bonuses for three years to keep bankers from walking out the door rich just before the whole edifice collapses. American banks are trying to find ways to make their payouts more politically palatable and, as the Wall Street Journal reports, shifting some of the cash bonanza into "restricted shares"--stock that can't be sold for several years.

You may imagine that, after the furor of the last year, all this means that investment bankers will be paid substantially less. It doesn't. It might take more time for them to get their money, but the likelihood is that the new pay rules will ultimately mean bankers get paid more.

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Daniel Indiviglio was an associate editor at The Atlantic from 2009 through 2011. He is now the Washington, D.C.-based columnist for Reuters Breakingviews. He is also a 2011 Robert Novak Journalism Fellow through the Phillips Foundation. More

Indiviglio has also written for Forbes. Prior to becoming a journalist, he spent several years working as an investment banker and a consultant.

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