America Has Some Thoughts About Your Bonuses

Author:
Publish date:
Updated on

When you walk out of the office and down the street today, are you planning on asking some strangers their opinion on whether or not you should get paid this year? No? Well give it a shot- the answers may surprise you, if you were under the impression the general population thinks you deserve that money. Apparently they don't but they do have some ideas about how you should be compensated moving forward. Here's what 70 percent of Americans have come up with-- you get nothing.

More than 70 percent of Americans say big bonuses should be banned this year at Wall Street firms that took taxpayer bailouts, a Bloomberg National Poll shows. An additional one in six favors slapping a 50 percent tax on bonuses exceeding $400,000. Just 7 percent of U.S. adults say bonuses are an appropriate incentive reflecting Wall Street’s return to financial health. A large majority also want to tax Wall Street profits to reduce the federal budget deficit. A levy on financial services firms is the top choice among more than a dozen deficit-cutting options presented to respondents.

“The American people bailed them out and immediately they went and paid their employees very large bonuses,” says poll respondent Michael Robertson, 43, of Wayne, Michigan. “I don’t believe they should have a bonus at all for a while.” Robertson lost his job in retail management in the auto parts industry three years ago when his company cut workers and is now in school studying computer electronics. “Of course I’m bitter about this Wall Street thing,” he says.

Banning Big Wall Street Bonuses Favored By 70% Of Americans [Bloomberg]

Related

Bonus Watch '12: Jefferies Has Got Your Cold Hard Cash Right Here

Back in the day, as in pre-crisis, bonus season on Wall Street was a happy time. Sure, you still had your miserable pricks who would bitch and moan about the fact that they hadn't gotten as much as the guy who sat next to them, even they the guy who sat next to them was a "non-contributing zero who wouldn't recognize alpha if it bit him in the ass," but prior to to fall 2008, anyone who was unhappy about his or her bonus was a) quibbling over receiving a huge sum of money instead of an imperial fuck-ton of money and b) in a position to actually make good on a threat to jump ship, since firms were hiring. Now, with a few exceptions, bonus season makes people feel sad. Angry. Impotent. Like the world is out to get them. Not only has the total amount of one's bonus come down, but many companies have decreased the cash portion, while increasing the deferral period on stock to, in some cases, almost half a decade. Then you have Jefferies. Last year it let employees decide between an all stock bonus or an all cash bonus with 25% lopped off.  This year the investment bank-cum-butcher shop isn't even forcing anyone to choose, instead dumping a bag of cash on everyone's desk and reminding them who loves 'em.