Wall Street Pay Could Drop Nearly a Third This Year

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Put out a cookie for your favorite Wall Street banker along with Santa's this Christmas Eve, because the sour economy is playing Grinch on financial-sector employees. "Employees at big Wall Street firms could see annual compensation sink 27 percent to 30 percent from a year earlier to the lowest level since the 2008 financial crisis," reports The Wall Street Journal. Options Group, "an executive search and consulting firm," says that holiday bonuses are bearing the brunt of that compensation hit, being shaved 35 to 40 percent. But those overall compensation dips aren't even across the board: while i-bankers and equity traders pays will go down, wealth management employees could see pay bumped by 8 percent. However, it's hard to feel sorry for Wall Streeters of all sorts when the pay dips are put into absolute dollar terms. The Journal's example: "An investment-grade-bond trader who is a managing director at a top securities firm is likely to make $1.7 million to $1.8 million in 2011, according to the study. That is down from $2.9 million." So they'll still have Merry Christmas.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.