ITWASSOOTED: Wall Street grabs $21.5 billion in bonuses

Friday, January 13, 2006

Wall Street grabs $21.5 billion in bonuses

By Bill Van Auken
13 January 2006

In what amounts to a massive misappropriation of social wealth, Wall Street’s major investment banks and trading firms are handing out $21.5 billion in year-end bonuses for 2005.

According to a report issued Wednesday by New York State Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi, the average bonus paid out for last year is $125,000, with thousands of top executives, stock brokers and bond traders pulling in $1 million or more. While the amounts were announced by the individual firms in December, the checks will be going out at the end of this month and next.

Among the top beneficiaries is Goldman Sachs chief executive Henry Paulson Jr., who ended up with a $38 million compensation package for 2005. Other top earners include Lehman Brothers CEO Richard S. Fuld Jr., with $14.9 million, and Morgan Stanley chief John Mack, who is being paid $11.5 million for the six months of work he performed since taking over the company last summer.

According to some published reports, traders in their 30s are receiving as much as half a million, while 21-year-old “analysts” hired straight out of college are taking home bonuses worth $75,000.
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