Well now, fancy that!

The world’s top five technology companies are minting millionaires at an unprecedented pace, handing out stock awards that are more than 60% higher on average than the bonuses for workers in Britain’s financial services industry.

Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook and Google’s parent Alphabet doled out a combined $20bn (£15.4bn) in share payouts last year, on top of the techies’ salaries, according to an analysis of stock market filings.

The tech industry’s elite all enjoyed increases in their share prices last year, helping them to displace former stalwarts such as Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and Exxon Mobil as the world’s most valuable public companies outside China. Apple is ranked No 1 with a market cap of about $770bn, followed by Alphabet, Microsoft and Amazon, with Facebook at No 5 on $435bn.

The $20bn bonanza equates to $29,850 for each of the quintet’s 670,000 employees. Last year Britain’s bankers and insurance workers took home £13.9bn in bonuses, an average of £13,400 per employee.

Global industry pays more in bonuses across the world than the one country sector of a global business.

Next they’ll be telling us that Google paid less in bonuses in the UK than it did worldwide.

12 comments on “Well now, fancy that!

  1. But…but…but… I thought banker’s bonuses were the single most critical danger to the entire UK economy & should be instantly confiscated to feed the starving poor clustered round the food banks.
    It’s getting so hard to keep up.

  2. CJ: It’s a pity she’s unlikely to make the count, even if she is still alive. I’ve got mixed feelings about her campaign. Mistakes in the NHS ought to put some pressure for reform on the people involved, but it seems the only way to do that is financially. However the people responsible for the root causes don’t bear that burden. A mistake can also have financial consequences for the victim, who ought to be compensated for that.

  3. I do believe ARs proposals would keep the NHS breathing for a few more years.
    How much of a good idea that is depends on whether or not those years are spent designing a better system. The NHS cannot live for ever, any more than AR can. I’m sadder about the latter than the former.

  4. Some big differences:

    Tech companies will tend to skew bonus payments towards higher management because it is harder to identify individual revenue generators than it is with banks’ traders and fee earners.

    Whereas banks pay a lot of cash bonuses, tech companies will pay almost entirely stock, which looks great, but if you are holding a stock valued at 20 times turnover (e.g. Facebook) there has to be a risk of a fall in price before the stock vests. Most of these companies barely existed 20 years ago.

  5. @Tractor Gent, May 7, 2017 at 11:48 am

    Mistakes in the NHS ought to put some pressure for reform on the people involved, but it seems the only way to do that is financially. However the people responsible for the root causes don’t bear that burden. A mistake can also have financial consequences for the victim, who ought to be compensated for that.

    My bold. imho that is the problem in public sector from PM & MPs down.

    Dentists (NHS or private) legally must purchase professional indemnity insurance (eg MDDUS). This should be the law for all public sector jobs.

    P

  6. Oh come on Tim, I am amazed at your naivety.

    Everyone knows that companies only pay bonuses to reduce profits to avoid corporation tax. Professor Spud both invented this concept and brought it to the attention of the world and has since campaigned tirelessly to defeat it.

    He has changed the world. Have you?

  7. P: that just transfers the risk to the indemnity insurer, and the insurance fees will still, directly or indirectly, come out of the NHS budget. The main benefit would be that the insurers will be a bit more independent and will have more of a vested interest in identifying the trail of responsibility.

  8. @Pcar

    GPs, being self-employed must have PII (I’m not certain it’s a legal requirement, but it would be insane not to have it). I don’t know about medics who are NHS employees.

  9. Doctors in the UK have to have indemnity insurance, but if they’re employed by the NHS (which GPs aren’t) the NHS covers them.

    We want doctors to learn from mistakes. That’s easier if they’re open, not defensive, when things go wrong. Spending money on lawyers and damages is the wrong direction.

  10. Chris – most GPs are employees. Limited company – they may well be directors too but they are often employees.
    Some will choose the self employment route but as in anything the risk being carried by the individual is something that has to be factored in.

  11. @Tractor Gent, May 7, 2017 at 10:54 pm

    P: that just transfers the risk to the indemnity insurer,… The main benefit would be that the insurers will be a bit more independent and will have more of a vested interest in identifying the trail of responsibility.

    Insurer will actively monitor claims, hike premiums or refuse to cover the “bad ones”.

    No more NHS “he’s a nice guy/one of us” cover-ups. Insurers would also want claims settled quickly to lower admin/legal costs vs NHS bottomless pit for delaying costs.

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