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Bonus Watch: Goldman Sachs Average Predicted To Hit $397,707

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Keep in mind that these stories are based on analysts estimates. We’re hoping to see some real (or at least rumored) numbers soon, and we’ll start updating the numbers as soon as possible. (Email your tips to us here with the subject line “Bonus Watch. The identities of all tipsters are kept anonymous, unless you are retiring or something and want some credit for your work.)
The New York Daily News has the short version of the Bloomberg story:

Never in the history of Wall Street have so many earned so much in so little time.
Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Bros. and Bear Stearns are about to reward their 173,000 employees with $36 billion of bonuses.
That's a 30% increase from last year's record, and it doesn't include the billions more that will be paid by Citigroup, Bank of America and J.P. Morgan Chase, the three largest U.S. banks, as well as the hundreds of hedge funds and private-equity firms that constitute the financial industry.

The longer version gives estimates for individual firms.

Average compensation/average bonus (U.S. dollars):

Goldman $658,946 / $397,707
Morgan $257,594 / $154,556
Merrill $291,139 / $174,683
Lehman $351,160 / $210,696
Bear $338,462 / $203,077

And DealBook says that traders will once again reap the largest rewards.

On Wall Street, it will again be the traders, who make investment bets for their firms, and those who operate in the complex world of structured products and derivatives, who take home the biggest checks this year, with top-end estimates in the range of $40 million to $50 million, according to The New York Times.
“Traders are making more than bankers and that will probably continue for one more year,” Alan Johnson, the managing director of Alan Johnson Associates, told the Times. “Then it will be a horse race.”

36B seen in bonuses at top firms [Bloomberg in Daily News]
Wall Streeters to reap record bonuses [Bloomberg in Globe & Mail]
Wall Street Set for Bountiful Bonuses [New York Times]