Bonus Watch ’12: Half Of Wall Street Feeling Pretty Positive About Pay Day

Now that we’re nearly halfway through October, several items on your to-do list will have undoubtedly been upgraded in urgency: scouring Starbucks near and far for for Pumpkin Spice lattes before it’s too late, and being dead serious in telling the baristas at the various locations claiming unavailability that they’ve ruined your life; coming up with a Halloween costume that’s at once slutty and topical; and discussing bonus expectations. Despite the fact that bank CEOs and people who speak on their behalf have suggested (by saying outright) that pay will come down this year, and that anyone who still has a job in 3-4 months should consider that their bonus, some on Wall Street are apparently predicting they’ll do pretty well for themselves this year and very well circa 2015.

There seems to be a disconnect between what Wall Street execs have been reading lately and what they believe. Nearly half (48%) of them surveyed by eFinancialCareers expect their bonus to be higher this year despite recent news reports to the contrary…Of those who believe bonuses will increase in the next three years, over half (53%) are convinced bonuses will return to 2006-2007 levels.

For those not as confident their take-home will soon revert to the glory days and looking to make a change into a more lucrative field Bloomberg today notes that “welders top banking pay.”*

Despite news reports that Wall Street bonuses will be down, more Wall Streeters are expecting them to be higher [eF]
Wall Street to Cut Pay Instead of Jobs, Graseck Says [BW]
Caterpillar’s Worker Hunt Means Welders Top Banking Pay [Bloomberg]
Related: Layoffs/Bonus Watch ’12/’13: Morgan Stanley
*…Though not until paragraph 15 is it made clear that they’re actually talking about the pay of ‘bank tellers,’ which: what? 1) I think most people could have told you a union welder would make more than a bank teller, just as they could probably make the educated guess that doctors, lawyers, hedge fund managers and particularly sought-after dog walkers fare better than BTs on pay day, since bank teller ≠ banker and 2) To that end, is this a new series? Jobs you may or may not have known pay more than $47,900/year? Because while very servicey for all the bank tellers reading who’ve been thinking about making a jump, it seems less than helpful to the core audience.

(hidden for your protection)
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57 Responses to “Bonus Watch ’12: Half Of Wall Street Feeling Pretty Positive About Pay Day”

  1. UBS MD says:

    Bank teller make HOW much????!?!?

  2. Guest says:

    I'm glad I still have a job.

    –Guy sitting next to three empty desks

    • Guest says:

      Right. Also, they need to see you in the little conference room no one ever uses down the hall. Bring your blackberry.

  3. Guest says:

    I think my subconscious misses the Bonobos guy..

  4. CoveredLong says:

    The survey was confusing – I couldn't tell whether the "Payday > 100 grand" selection was asking about my bonus or my candy bar preference?

    -UBS Consumer Staples Analyst

  5. Guest says:

    So 50% of the employees think their pay will be above average. And half of all doctors have finished in the bottom half of their med school class.

    • guest says:

      the article says 50 think they'll do better than they did last year, which is not the same thing as saying they "think their pay will be above average." you get that, right?

      • Guest says:

        Lighten up Francis.

        – guy who doesn't let facts get in the way of a good joke. Or even mediocre jokes.

    • Guest says:

      And 100% of all private equity GPs are in the top quartile.

      – guy who hates that joke…and Dan Primack

  6. krautmick says:

    suggested tags: The (Da) Nile, River, Egypt

  7. Guy on Matt's Couch says:

    Second installment in that series: Bloggers make more than bankers!*

    *Only in the fifteenth footnote is it revealed that total take home includes profits from bloggers' "efficient capital markets hypotheses theoretical model price discovery testing post research activities and related market transactions88"

    **This may mean insider trading

  8. Guest says:

    Bess, do you have top bucket 1st year welders' numbers?

  9. Zombanker says:

    Brainzzz are my bonus. Banker brainzzz.

    • Guest says:

      Given we now only recruit from Indiana University, you're getting fucked this year, too.

      -Goldman MD

  10. InfiniteGuest says:

    Sparks fly from the crucible of Bloomberg's cutting-edge economic trends analysis.

  11. little things says:

    "revert back" is redundant.

    pleonastically yours,

    UBS grammar quant

  12. Liz M says:

    Uh, this isn't a clear inconsistency.

    Suppose everyone works on wall street for 2 years. In their first year, they get x dollars, and the second year, they get 10x dollars, and everyone quits/is fired before 3rd year bonus.

    Every year management sets x. This year bonuses are 30% lower than last year. Still, everyone in the industry is getting a bigger bonus than they did last year.

    • guest says:

      "everyone in the industry is getting a bigger bonus than they did last year."

      kind of a bold statement to make in october, no?

      • Liz M says:

        This is part of the thought experiment where I said that "in the second year, everyone gets 10x dollars". So all second years are getting more than they did the previous year *under these assumptions*

        I didn't say the world actually looks like this; I'm just saying it's possible for the average increase to be positive and the overall pool to be smaller.

    • guest says:

      "everyone in the industry is getting a bigger bonus than they did last year."

      and you know this definitively how?

      • Sensitive Guest says:

        Turn around
        Every now and then I get a little bit lonely
        and you're never coming round
        Turn around
        Every now and then I get a little bit tired of listening to the sound
        of my tears
        Turn around
        Every now and then I get a little bit nervous that the best of all the
        years've gone by
        Turn around
        Every now and then I get a little bit terrified and then
        I see the look in your eyes
        Turn around, bright eyes
        Every now and then I fall apart
        Turn around, bright eyes
        Every now and then I fall apart

      • Liz M says:

        It's true for this model. Definitely not true for the real world.

    • PermaGuestII says:

      The flaw in your logic is that "management" of a financial firm is a subset of "everyone in the industry."

      Unless you believe (as some apparently do) that Wall Street is controlled by an odd melange of the leadership of the National Socialist German Workers Party, the Elders of Zion, and a marine invertebrate.

      • WASP w/freetime says:

        No one even thinks we're part of the conspiracy anymore, wow, guess I'll just hang out here in Greenwich and mind the garden.

      • Liz M says:

        In this toy model management could be a computer program. I'm just giving a thought experiment to show that it's possible for the average increase to be positive and the overall bonus pool to be smaller.

      • La Guesta says:


        -Paul the Soccer Team Picking Octopus

  13. guest says:

    52% of wall street are liars

  14. guest says:

    Maybe the 53% interpreted the question to mean that they themselves would revert to their 06-07 bonus levels…7 years later.

  15. guest says:

    Anyone expecting a 50% increase please report to my office!

    -J Dimon

  16. Guest says:

    Bloggers who use asterisks are 50% more likely to make more than bankers***

    (by bankers, we mean the guys who clean the toilets at GS)

    -UBS asterisk quant

  17. UBS Bubblegum Quant says:

    I get paid in layers

  18. Nervous in NJ says:

    It was funnier without the asterisk, Matt FFS stop giving Bess pointers.

  19. theonepercent says:

    1st year @ elite boutique (think LAZ, GHL, EVR)

    base: 70k
    top bucket: 65k

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