Support Marketplace

Wall Street bonuses creeping up again

Businessman with $100 bills in suit jacket pocket.

TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: Here we go again: Big bonuses are back on Wall Street, at least for some financial workers. A report out today from compensation consulting firm Johnson Associates in New York predicts the typical, year-end bonus will be up about 40 percent this year. That's setting up a clash with regulators, with lawmakers and, of course, public opinion, as Marketplace's Mitchell Hartman reports.


Mitchell Hartman: Bonuses had fallen in the recession as firms had less to offer and regulators cracked down, but they're now creeping up again between 40-60 percent in sectors like investment banking, bond and stock trading

Andrew Hilton at the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation in London says regulators are under pressure to give Wall Street a looser leash again.

Andrew Hilton: Because it is said the crisis is over, and plenty of institutions have been going around making the case that if they don't pay enormous sums of money to their staff, they will lose those staff to other institutions. The usual scare stories that we've heard before.

Hilton says regulators have the most leverage over firms like Bank of America and Citibank that got huge government bailouts to stay alive. But he says even companies that didn't get direct cash assistance have benefited from the government re-floating of financial markets, so their pay should be scrutinized as well.

I'm Mitchell Hartman for Marketplace.

About the author

Mitchell Hartman is the senior reporter for Marketplace’s Entrepreneurship Desk and also covers employment.

Comments

I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...