Wall Street Firms Paid Out $20.3 Billion in Bonuses in 2009





-- Street sign illustration - Wall Street Bonuses --The Wall Street Journal (link below) recently published a pretty eye-opening chart that illustrates just how fast Wall Street bonuses have risen over the past 20 years.

In 1990, Wall Street firms paid out total bonuses of $2.1 billion, which worked out to an average of $15,540 per employee.

In 2009, Wall Street firms paid out a total of $20.3 billion, which worked out to an average of $123,850 per employee.

The biggest year for Wall Street was 2006, when an unbelievable $34.1 billion was paid out in bonuses. 2007 was nearly as good, as $32.9 billion was dished out. This works out to a per-employee average per year of about $185k when combining 2006 and 2007's total bonuses.

Here are the totals (Nominal dollars vs inflation-adjusted dollars) from 1989 to 2009:

1989, $1.9 billion, $3.3 billion
1990, $2.1 billion, $3.46 billion
1991, $4.1 billion, $6.48 billion
1992, $4.9 billion, $7.52 billion
1993, $5.8 billion, $8.64 billion
1994, $4.9 billion, $7.12 billion
1995, $6.2 billion, $8.76 billion
1996, $9.8 billion, $13.45 billion
1997, $11.2 billion, $15.02 billion
1998, $9.8 billion, $12.94 billion
1999, $13.5 billion, $17.45 billion
2000, $19.5 billion, $24.38 billion
2001, $13.0 billion, $15.80 billion
2002, $9.8 billion, $11.73 billion
2003, $15.8 billion, $18.49 billion
2004, $18.6 billion, $21.2 billion
2005, $25.7 billion, $28.33 billion
2006, $34.1 billion, $36.42 billion
2007, $32.9 billion, $34.38 billion
2008, $18.4 billion, $18.52 billion
2009, $20.3 billion, $20.3 billion

The biggest bonus in inflation-adjusted dollars? $36.42 billion (2006).

The smallest inflation-adjusted bonus over the past 20 years? $3.3 billion (1989).

It's not hard to see that Wall Street bonuses have absolutely sky-rocketed over the past 20 years, even after accounting for inflation.

Despite the near-collapse of the economy in 2008, Wall Street still managed to pay out $18.52 billion.

Despite the implosion of the dot-com bubble, 9/11 and the first recession in approximately 10 years, Wall Street still managed to dish out an impressive $15.8 billion in bonuses in 2001 and $11.73 billion in bonuses in 2002 (inflation adjusted).

I have a feeling that Wall Street bonuses over the next few years will quickly accelerate into the $30 billion+ territory once again.

Source: WSJ.com - Wall Street Bonuses Get 17% Bounce




Filed under: General Market News

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