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Wall Street Bonuses
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Wall Street Bonuses

  #1 (permalink)
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Wall Street Bonuses

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Huffington Post
It may be hard to believe but there was a time, almost 25 years ago, when Wall Street and Main Street weren't so far apart -- at least when it came to the average worker's salary and the average financial industry employee's annual bonus.
Back in 1985, the average annual salary for all workers across the country was actually a bit higher than the average bonus ($19,000 to $13,970). (Note: these numbers are not adjusted for inflation)
How times have changed - while the average bonus soared almost 14 times higher (by 2006), the average salary has essentially been stagnant sine the mid-1980s.
Though bonuses slipped sharply in 2008 amid the financial crisis, they're rebounding this year and Wall Street firms are set to pay out record amounts to their employees. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner recently told reporters that banks will be making "significant changes" to the way they pay their employees, and called bonuses being paid out by bailed-out firms "deeply offensive."

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Huffington Post
Banks have been castigated for returning to pre-crisis pay packages -- White House spokesman Robert Gibbs recently told reporters, "Pay on Wall Street can't return to the speculative era that we saw last, specifically right before the economic collapse..."
Disturbingly, the chart shows some similarities to some of the data we've seen on income inequality. University of California, Berkeley's Emmanuel Saez put together a scathing report on this topic earlier this year. The share of total U.S. income made up by the top 10 percent of earners, according to Saez's figures, was around 35 percent in 1987. By 2007, the top U.S. earners would capture almost 50 percent of total U.S. income.
Some important caveats: the information in the chart, taken from the U.S. Bureau Of Labor Statistics and the New York State Comptroller's office, includes average bonuses for workers classified as securities industry professionals. Using an average bonus figure for Wall Street workers is somewhat problematic. For one, not every Wall Street employee gets the same size bonus -- some top executives get vast sums that can distort the average bonus figure. Also, not every financial service professional is even eligible for a bonus. It's hard to make direct comparisons between the bonus pool at Goldman Sachs, which has a relatively small number of employees, and an immense company like Bank Of America, which has a large retail banking presence.



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  #2 (permalink)
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I heard Sorkin interviewed today by Terry Gross (NPR)... his book was released today reporting on the behind-the-scenes of what led up to thedemise of Lehmann and through to the bail-out.. pretty fascinating read I would think... Too Big To Fail: The Secret Hank Paulson-Goldman Sachs Meeting In Moscow

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Mean data isnt everything though.

We still need a standard deviation data before we can assume anything.

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