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Will Wall Street earn bonuses?

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Posted: 3 pm ET

Wall Street professionals have a somewhat pessimistic outlook for their future earnings, with about half of the respondents of a survey saying they expect their bonuses to decline over the next three years. Most -- 80 percent of the respondents -- don't expect to receive bigger bonuses.

The 1,098 respondents in a survey by eFinancialCareers were divided in their responses, depending on where they work. Half of those from hedge funds and boutique banks expect larger bonuses than they received last year, while only 36 of those at commercial banks expect a larger bonus. Overall, 92 percent say they expect to receive some sort of bonus this year.

Wall Street has always relied on a performance-based culture. So it's interesting that in the survey, 45 percent of those who expect larger bonuses say it's because of their personal accomplishments, while 22 percent attribute it to their firm's performance. Yet of those who predict that bonuses will decline, 40 percent blame it on their firm's performance and 35 percent say it's because of market conditions.

There was a bit of a relief rally Tuesday for the financial markets. The KBW bank index was up 4 percent, but today many of the major banks will report third-quarter earnings.

Meanwhile, public anger directed at financial institutions is gaining steam as the Occupy Wall Street movement goes global. According to a report in Reuters, students in Milan, Italy, stormed a branch of finance giant Goldman Sachs on Oct. 14, and there have been peaceful demonstrations in front of banks around Europe. Protesters in the movement, here and abroad, believe that Wall Street and big business are unfairly profiting even as high unemployment is plaguing the rest of the population.

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1 Comment
October 19, 2011 at 10:31 am

Millions of Americans are jobless, just hoping for a job... and then, you have that pack of vultures, with their petty sense of entitlement over... BONUSES???

Oh, America...