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Bloomberg Would Like To Remind Wall Street That It Gets Paid Way More Than It Should Compared To More Noble Professions

As we’ve discussed at length, bonus expectations this year are not very good, should you be employed by a bank. Even those at hedge funds and private equity firms, where numbers aren’t expected to be nearly as bad, will likely have something to complain about, given that that’s just what people do when it comes to bonuses (rail against whoever came up with the figure and know in your heart you deserve more). A week or so ahead of numbers being officially communicated, Bloomberg has whipped up a chart comparing the pay of traders and M&A bankers to those of some totally randomly selected professions (brain surgeons, cancer researchers, aerospace engineers, 4-star generals with thirty-four years experience) where employees make less and told the former group to “take solace” in the disparity. It almost seems as though some sort of message is being sent!

“I don’t think it’s healthy for the economy to be this skewed,” Stephen Rose, a 63-year-old professor at Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, commented. “I believe there’s some sort of connection between value added to the economy and pay.

But lest you get any idea, no one’s here to pass judgment. They just want to leave you with a few things to marinate on, like this:

An oil trader with 10 years in the business is likely to earn at least $1 million this year, while a neurosurgeon with similar time on the job makes less than $600,000, recruiters estimated. After a decade of deal-making, merger bankers take home about $2 million, more than 10 times what a similarly seasoned cancer researcher gets (see table below).

And this:

A four-star general with more than 34 years in the military makes almost $185,000 a year, according to the Department of Defense’s accounting office. That’s less than half the $498,246 average compensation and benefits package that New York-based Goldman Sachs paid employees for 2009.

And some of this:


* ”

Traders’ Smaller Bonuses Still Top Pay For Brain Surgeons, 4-Star Generals [Bloomberg]

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135 Responses to “Bloomberg Would Like To Remind Wall Street That It Gets Paid Way More Than It Should Compared To More Noble Professions”

  1. Guest says:

    hand/bite/feeds you, bberg. something to marinate on.

  2. Guest says:

    hand/bite/feeds you, bberg. something to marinate on.

  3. Guest says:

    hand/bite/feeds you, bberg. something to marinate on.

  4. Guest says:

    hand/bite/feeds you, bberg. something to marinate on.

  5. Steve Cohen says:

    On Thursday nights they call me “Herr General” at Beamers. Therefore, I think this data is skewed.

    -Steve “Whip My Lapels Into Shape” Cohen

  6. Guest says:

    Fired banker: $0
    Retirement pay for a general with 34 years experience: ~$150,000

  7. NakedShort says:

    They forgot to include the NPV of the 4 Star Generals Government Pension. $2.5 million give or take depending on the life expectancy of him and his wife (not including COLA).

    …and knowing is half the battle

    -GI Joe

  8. Anonymous says:

    Angelina Jolie $8 — $20mm per movie
    ARod $30mm per year
    financial journalists who write stories that support their personal biases? Priceless

  9. derp says:

    Law Firm Junior Associate ….. Bag of Peanuts (Shelled)

  10. derp says:

    Law Firm Junior Associate ….. Bag of Peanuts (Shelled)

  11. Texashedge says:

    Win a fucking war, maybe we’ll pay you more

  12. Texashedge says:

    Win a fucking war, maybe we’ll pay you more

  13. Texashedge says:

    Win a fucking war, maybe we’ll pay you more

  14. Texashedge says:

    Win a fucking war, maybe we’ll pay you more

  15. Texashedge says:

    Win a fucking war, maybe we’ll pay you more

  16. Texashedge says:

    Win a fucking war, maybe we’ll pay you more

  17. Texashedge says:

    Win a fucking war, maybe we’ll pay you more

  18. Texashedge says:

    Win a fucking war, maybe we’ll pay you more

  19. Texashedge says:

    Win a fucking war, maybe we’ll pay you more

  20. Texashedge says:

    Win a fucking war, maybe we’ll pay you more

  21. Dr. Doom says:

    I agree with my academic colleague from Georgetown. It is almost impossible to find a decent sized apartment in NY on a Stern School of business professor’s salary.

  22. Dr. Doom says:

    I agree with my academic colleague from Georgetown. It is almost impossible to find a decent sized apartment in NY on a Stern School of business professor’s salary.

  23. Dr. Doom says:

    I agree with my academic colleague from Georgetown. It is almost impossible to find a decent sized apartment in NY on a Stern School of business professor’s salary.

  24. Fake says:

    Waiting for the follow-up article with the job security, income volatility, work-life balance, and benefits comparison

  25. Anonymous says:

    please people, we all know that any aerospace engineer worth his weight in salt is trading bonds…

  26. judge smails says:

    the world needs ditch diggers too

  27. judge smails says:

    the world needs ditch diggers too

  28. trader joe says:

    Those who can do, those who can’t teach….

  29. Anonymous says:

    So, let’s get this straight.

    If you make a lot of money and you work on Wall Street, you’re useless and should be ashamed of yourself as you clearly add no value to the broader economy.

    If, on the other hand, you make a lot of money and are a plaintiff’s attorney, real-estate broker, Hollywood agent, or a plastic surgeon specializing in breast augmentation, you’re clearly (with apologies to Lloyd) doing God’s work and should be rewarded.

  30. Flow traders are a joke says:

    Love this article. Work in the business and can’t believe what they pay. Even worse, can believe what some colleagues feel they deserve. I live with myself by contributing to charity. Also, so many of these flow trading fuckers don’t know/do jack other than sit in a seat that puts them in the middle of information flow. They are simply crossing wires and taking some small incremental risks every once in a while w other peoples money.

  31. GGGuest says:

    Any General whose pay is not taken as a percentage of the countries GDP is underachieving.

    -H. Chavez

  32. HC Wiz says:

    Can anyone working in IBD at Goldman, BAML, JPM, MS, etc., give me a sense for what their calling officer to associate ratio is?

  33. Dr. Dumbass, Your Surgeon says:

    I practice medicine without a license because I believe that “those who can do and those who can’t teach.”

    Now, let’s cut into that lump and see what’s there, shall we?.

  34. Dr. Dumbass, Your Surgeon says:

    I practice medicine without a license because I believe that “those who can do and those who can’t teach.”

    Now, let’s cut into that lump and see what’s there, shall we?.

  35. Dr. Dumbass, Your Surgeon says:

    I practice medicine without a license because I believe that “those who can do and those who can’t teach.”

    Now, let’s cut into that lump and see what’s there, shall we?.

  36. Dr. Dumbass, Your Surgeon says:

    I practice medicine without a license because I believe that “those who can do and those who can’t teach.”

    Now, let’s cut into that lump and see what’s there, shall we?.

  37. Str688 says:

    Maybe it’s time for some of these trading operations to start rightsizing the number of Bloomberg terminals they have on their trading floors…Just sayin’…

  38. Str688 says:

    Maybe it’s time for some of these trading operations to start rightsizing the number of Bloomberg terminals they have on their trading floors…Just sayin’…

  39. Guest says:

    God, this is such bullshit. Someone with more time on their hands please do a “NPV of total comp” calculation for a general who 1) has a full time black LCpl-chauffeured SUV 2) has a mansion paid for with either full time help or help shared with a couple other generals on the same block 3) rarely if ever pays for dinner, especially if working in the DC area 4) has full Tricare coverage for himself and dependents 5) has one of his kids’ college tuition paid for via the new GI Bill and finally 6) is going to be hired by Booz/KBR/Halliburton/Fox/etc for 7 figures plus per year upon retirement, during which time he will still be paid $185k because he’s been in for more than 30 years. And he and his dependents still get free Tricare after he gets out.

    Or maybe I should feel guilty about leaving the Suck and joining Wall St.

    –former 0302/current banker

  40. Serenity Now says:

    “News outlets” publish these types of articles to get everyone fired up so they can sell more advertisements. Leave it to the pitchfork/torch crowd to get upset at this drivel.

    – Guy who’s convinced himself he’s better than that

  41. Anon says:

    This is NOT drivel….its the truth. Someone, anyone on this board tell me what a banker actually produces….and NO, you cannot tell me that the money they create funds science and research etc…bullsh*t……simple question WHAT DO YOU DO?….the answer nothing. Move cash from one box to another, then back again, charge fee for move. collect fee. Place big bet with fee based on nonpublic information. Win bet. Repeat. Note, if lose bet, no problem, will be rewarded anyway.

  42. Anon says:

    This is NOT drivel….its the truth. Someone, anyone on this board tell me what a banker actually produces….and NO, you cannot tell me that the money they create funds science and research etc…bullsh*t……simple question WHAT DO YOU DO?….the answer nothing. Move cash from one box to another, then back again, charge fee for move. collect fee. Place big bet with fee based on nonpublic information. Win bet. Repeat. Note, if lose bet, no problem, will be rewarded anyway.

  43. Anon says:

    This is NOT drivel….its the truth. Someone, anyone on this board tell me what a banker actually produces….and NO, you cannot tell me that the money they create funds science and research etc…bullsh*t……simple question WHAT DO YOU DO?….the answer nothing. Move cash from one box to another, then back again, charge fee for move. collect fee. Place big bet with fee based on nonpublic information. Win bet. Repeat. Note, if lose bet, no problem, will be rewarded anyway.

  44. Anon says:

    This is NOT drivel….its the truth. Someone, anyone on this board tell me what a banker actually produces….and NO, you cannot tell me that the money they create funds science and research etc…bullsh*t……simple question WHAT DO YOU DO?….the answer nothing. Move cash from one box to another, then back again, charge fee for move. collect fee. Place big bet with fee based on nonpublic information. Win bet. Repeat. Note, if lose bet, no problem, will be rewarded anyway.

  45. John Edwards says:

    Do something with social value, like me. Become a scumbag malpractice lawyer and make multiple millions.

  46. Client69 says:

    Realized my $3mm a year bonus for being a mere oil trader was now treated with disdain by the financial media. Felt depressed and alone.

    Went to the roof of my Park Ave penthouse to jump off roof and end it all while facing the Met. Got up on the ledge….only thing that pulled me back was my too-high standard of living and Young Coeds VIP club card that Jeffrey gave me when he left town.

  47. Anon says:

    How sad Ron M……in all likelihood someone in your not so distant past (who you now deride) probably came to this country and made a living for his family by working long hard hours in a union…..to end up producing a scumbag like you…. However, you are too good for that. You must be from a long line of blue-blooded bankers. Loser.

  48. Anon says:

    TO GGGuest…..actually I think you are missing the point on both of your comments….not to mention you are a complete f*cking assh*le for making fun of people with trailers….much like Ron, you are tooooo good for your fellow humans…anyone not on the upper echelon of the economic spectrum like you (hahaha a low level financial services douchebag who rents a studio in NYC for $3000/month, and needs to sell his hot tech stock for liquidity to buy a rolex ……again you have proven why most wall street bankers are just complete obnoxious arrogant assh*les….YOU ARE NO BETTER THAN ANY OTHER HUMAN BEING. LOSER!

  49. Betterthanyou says:

    I’m better than all of you.

  50. Jimmy says:

    Why the fuck does Four Star General make the list?

  51. Guest says:

    How come Snooki isn’t on the list?

  52. Guest says:

    Ok, another issue, how many 4 star generals/admirals are there? less than 100. Now how many on the street are making the large bonuses? Also to reach that level takes years of service. I’m fairly certain that there have never been any one under 35 that has ever reached that rank. failed comparison.

  53. Jhonny the tax evader says:

    Come feel my bonus, general

  54. guest says:

    i love how nobody thinks the engineer is overpaid or has a cushy job. poor nerds…they create value and still get shit on by the western world

  55. Diego says:

    Bob Blau at Bloomberg is an A-hole

  56. Anarchist says:

    100% estate tax, and most of nonsense from finance should just disappear, ultimately it’s the incompetent rich brat’s inherited wealth which so many of incompetent hedge fund managers are looting!

  57. RZIklv A big thank you for your blog.Really looking forward to read more. Really Cool.

  58. Thanks-a-mundo for the post.Thanks Again. Cool.