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).
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: