Bonus Watch '11: 2012 Will Be Nice, If You Don't Mind Blood On Your Hands

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The bad news is that bank bonuses this year are estimated to drop 20% to 30% from 2010, and quite a bit more if you're a bond trader. The good news is that 2012 should see some cash freed up, on account of all the people who will have been fired by then.

Wall Street bonuses are set to shrink by an average of 20% to 30% from last year, with even steeper declines for bond traders, according to a widely watched compensation survey. The projections, to be released Tuesday by consulting firm Johnson Associates Inc., reflect the tough times at many banks and securities firms since the spring..."This year started with great promise for a banner year on Wall Street, but hopes for larger bonuses faded over the summer and continue to dim as we approach year-end," said Alan Johnson, managing director of Johnson Associates.

Lower bonuses will be widespread, with the average managing director taking home about $900,000, down from about $1.2 million in 2010...Fixed-income businesses will be the hardest hit, according to the projections. Bond traders are likely to take home as much as 45% less than in 2010, while equities traders and senior managers will see their bonuses 20% to 30% lower...There might be one silver lining. Pay trends could improve in 2012, because job cuts mean there will be fewer employees around to get bonuses.

Wall Street To See Smaller Bonuses This Year [WSJ]

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