The case for bonuses
The end is nigh for the get-rich-quick remuneration schemes that were prevalent in banks.
That's pretty clear, given that even the City watchdog, the Financial Services Authority, today criticised the way that senior bankers were rewarded for taking risks that blew up their banks and the economy.
But is there no longer any respectable case for paying bonuses to any bankers?
John Varley, Barclays' chief executive, told me it was right and proper that he shouldn't receive a mega-bonus - but that surely it would be wrong for him to deprive mortgage advisers and branch staff of a few thousand pounds if they hit their targets.
His peers too have said to me that what went wrong at banks like Royal Bank of Scotland, HBOS and Northern Rock, wasn't the fault of tens of thousands of junior employees - so why should they be penalised?
The answer is the one given by the Tory leader David Cameron today, which is that if taxpayers hadn't rescued those banks then those employees wouldn't have jobs, let alone bonuses.
So perhaps all bankers should simply count their blessings that they work for banks perceived to be so important to the prosperity of us all rather than for Woolworths - where there was no taxpayer bailout and 30,000 were made redundant.
Here's the other bit of special pleading by bankers, which is that brilliant traders and assorted rocket scientists would defect to rivals if their pockets weren't stuffed with massive financial incentives (including the promise of bonuses).
Let's not examine whether these geniuses have made such a valuable contribution to their institutions or to the general good - or whether they might have brought western capitalism to the brink of collapse.
Let's just ask City head-hunters whether the market is booming for financially creative bankers.
Errr. What the head-hunters tell me is that there's always a market for good people, but - to put it mildly - demand is not what it was.