Bonus Watch '15: Close Your Eyes And Think About The Bonus You Got Last Year

We'll wait.
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Okay, you got it? You got the idea of last year's bonus in your head? What it looked like? What it felt like? What, for some of you, it tasted like and felt like to roll around in (we don't know your life)? Now think about that bonus and lop off 10% of it.

Pay across Wall Street could fall about 10 percent this year, with traders taking the biggest hit, said Alan Johnson, managing director of pay consulting firm Johnson Associates. The weaker trading environment is hurting banks, as are the costs of complying with new rules imposed after the financial crisis. Banks "are starting to restructure their pay strategy because five or six years after the crisis they have extra costs," Johnson said. "It's just not working." Those estimates are consistent with the numbers that Goldman Sachs is reporting. The bank said it set aside $287,778 per employee in the first nine months of the year, down about 10 percent from the same period last year.

Wall Street bonuses likely to plunge as trading revenue drops [Reuters]


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.