An extremely interesting article about "Bonuses and Ideology".
Read : http://stumblingandmumbling.typepad.com/stumbling_and_mumbling/2009/12/bonuses-ideology.html.
Just one teaser :
"Throughout history necromancers, witch-doctors alchemists and ju-ju men have extracted high incomes. They’ve done so because their patrons have believed their job to be very difficult, demanding supreme skills. But in truth, the jobs of foretelling the future, controlling the weather and turning base metals into gold haven’t been difficult ones. They’ve been impossible. So it is, perhaps, with banking.
Making high risk-free returns isn’t difficult, but impossible. In failing to see this, we give bankers the fortunes our ancestors gave other charlatans."
There's much more where this came from !