Wall Street Braces for Dismal Bonuses

Worst since '08, but average still hits $101K
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2012 11:05 AM CST
Wall Street Braces for Dismal Bonuses
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Poor little Wall Street: The New York Post is reporting that the 2012 bonus season is likely to be a lean one—at least by the Street's standards. It seems your average Wall Streeter will be taking a 16.5% hit over last year's bonuses, and a 50% drop since the halcyon days of 2006. What's that translate to? An average $101,000, according to New York's comptroller. ‘‘I don’t think this year’s bonuses are going to be very good,’’ says an analyst. ‘‘I don’t believe the typical bonuses, as we used to know them, exist anymore.’’

That might be good news for Occupy Wall Street, given that bonuses drive a large part of bankers' overall compensation, but officials worry that it's bad news for New York City. “Wall Street is one of the financial engines that drive this city," which is already dealing with the aftermath of Sandy, says a spokesman for the New York State Restaurant Association. Citigroup, which let 150 employees go last week, expects a 10% drop in its bonus pool; JPMorgan expects to see a 2% decline. Says one trader: Apart from a select few, "you might be getting more coal than money in your stocking.” (More Wall Street stories.)

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