Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Wow. Wall Street.

An anonymous poster left this link in a comment on NYCMoney. Pretty staggering numbers, especially when you look at the change over 20 years.
In 1985, the total amount given out in bonuses was $1.9 billion, and the average bonus was $13.8 million thousand, according to the chart. For 2005, the total is estimated to be $21.5 billion, and the average $125.5 million thousand. By my calculations, that would mean that Wall Street bonuses have grown at a rate 6 times that of inflation. (Also interesting to note, though total bonuses are about 11.3 times higher today than they were in 1985, the Dow average is only about 5.5 times what it was at the end of 1985, not that these things are necessarily supposed to correlate.)

Will someone remind me why I work in publishing?


Dwight said...

Ummm... I think that's $125.5 thousand on average.

Doesn't change your % growth any. Two things I would be interested in seeing:
1) % bonus compensation to total compensation--I bet the base rates haven't grown at the same rate and more of the annual package is from the bonus
2) you mention bonuses as a factor of the Dow, but it should be measured against security industry fees they bring in. That's what they are getting paid for, and M&A has gone through the roof the past couple of years.

Anonymous said...

those wall street people, they don't do much productive to society and get paid all that-how lucky they are!

Madame X said...

Whoops! Thanks Chrees, I'll correct the post!
I don't know what I was thinking, but that it is only thousands makes me feel slightly better!

Anonymous said...

I posted that link on nycmoney. There is a good article in the NY Post today detailing as to how many if not most of the trader bonuses are not paid in cash but rather in stock and held with the employer so the recipient does not get access until some future date. attorney bonuses however are paid in cash but average much lower than the $150 M figures for traders.