Bonus Watch '10: Bank Of America

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Hey business owners, you know what would be a great way to get employees to stop quitting your company? I've thought about this long and hard and I think I've got it. Are you ready? Are you ready for this one? Here's comes the money shot: you could pay them. I know Bank of America agrees with me because they're expected to pay out bonuses close to 2007 levels. Employees previously threatening to walk out that door and never come back seem to like this new plan.

Bank of America's willingness to pay bonuses near 2007 levels is calming tensions among former Merrill executives and tamping down talk of more defections. "Nobody is talking about leaving," said one person familiar with the matter.
The arrangement could cool tensions among bankers who were at BofA before the Merrill deal and saw their bonuses drastically reduced in 2008. For 2008, this person said, "the feeling was the Merrill guys got paid and Bank of America guys didn't."

BAC, of course, would like to keep this on the DL, pretending to have no idea what any of this is about, lest anyone-- perhaps a former employee who didn't get paid last year-- get upset:

Company spokesman Robert Stickler declined to comment on specific bonus amounts but said the figures still could change and must be approved by the bank's board later this month.
"Therefore, no one should make assumptions about amounts," he said. "We are a pay-for-performance company. Any generalities about levels of salaries are inaccurate to the extent that we pay individuals based on their own performance, the performance of their unit and the performance of their company."

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