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WSJ: Wall Street Pay: A Record $144 Billion

Pay on Wall Street is on pace to break a record high for a second consecutive year, according to a study conducted by The Wall Street Journal.

About three dozen of the top publicly held securities and investment-services firms--which include banks, investment banks, hedge funds, money-management firms and securities exchanges--are set to pay $144 billion in compensation and benefits this year, a 4% increase from the $139 billion paid out in 2009, according to the survey. Compensation was expected to rise at 26 of the 35 firms.

The data showed that revenue was expected to rise at 29 of the 35 firms surveyed, but at a slower pace than pay. Wall Street revenue is expected to rise 3%, to $448 billion from $433 billion, despite a slowdown in some high-profile activities like stock and bond trading.

Overall, Wall Street is expected to pay 32.1% of its revenue to employees, the same as last year, but below the 36% in 2007. Profits, which were depressed by losses in the past two years, have bounced back from the 2008 crisis. But the estimated 2010 profit of $61.3 billion for the firms surveyed still falls about 20% short from the record $82 billion in 2006. Over that same period, compensation across the firms in the survey increased 23%.

I question the timing of this news by the WSJ. According to the NYT, Reuters is disputing the numbers in the article.

by Magnifico on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 01:55:07 PM EST

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