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November 09, 2021

Wall Street bonuses to drop big in 2011, survey says

Occupy Wall Street protestors are now taking their plight on the move, but perhaps they oughta stay.

Maybe things are working, after all.

Alright, well, certainly each goal of the Occupy movement, which is hoping to, among other things, even out society’s wealth distribution, hasn’t been attained, yet as some members of the campaign’s New York incarnation plan a two-week march to Washington, here’s a little news that might ring sweet to protestors’ ears.

Wall Street bonuses, this year at least, look set to plummet.

According to a survey from compensation watchdog Johnson Associates, bonuses paid to Wall Street executives will fall by an average of 20 to 30 per cent in 2011.

*Bing: What Wall Street exec gets the largest annual bonuses?

The sharpest drops in compensation will come to those who work in trading and investment banking, usually Wall Street’s most profitable businesses, Johnson Associates notes.

Of course, any decrease in Wall Street compensation should be considered relative. The lowest Wall Street worker earns a base salary of $100,000, according to the New York Times, and $1 million for top executives is easily within reach.

But what’s most remarkable about the Johnson survey is that the dip in bonuses, which make up much of a Wall Street worker’s annual income, will be the largest decrease since the recession.

So, if you’re scoring at home, Wall Street didn’t reign itself in during 2008 when the downturn first reared its head, nor did it in 2009 and 2010 when revenues tumbled and entire freaking 160-year-old institutions up and vanished.

No, it took a slump in trading profits and new Dodd-Frank regulations, which have raised the cost of doing business, for banking and investment firms to finally get the picture.

That picture, though, is one where Lloyd Blankfein should still easily clear an eight-figure bonus in forecasted times of so-called restraint.

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...