Power Point: Pay for performanceDecember 8, 2008: 6:18 PM ET
"Clearly, the performance of Merrill's top executives throughout Merrill's abysmal year in no way justifies significant bonuses for its top executives, including the CEO."
It worked. The top brass at Merrill agreed today to forgo bonuses. The money-losing brokerage, whose acquisition by Bank of America (BAC) was approved by shareholders last Friday, joins a growing crop of financial giants responding to a record-level uproar over executive compensation. Also giving up bonus pay this year: the top execs at Morgan Stanley (MS), Goldman Sachs (GS), Barclays (BCS), and Deutsche Bank. At Citigroup (C), the biggest recipient of the government's crisis-time largess, top executives have indicated that they're prepared to follow suit--meaning that they'd give up bonuses for the second year in a row. Can you imagine if they didn't join the no-bonus club? As Pattie notes in today's post on CEO apologies and other true confessions, the Citi brass is creeping toward acknowledgement of their disastrous missteps. -- Jessica Shambora