Major US banks and securities firms are moving towards paying their employees a record sum of about $145 billion in compensation for 2009, despite facing public ire over exorbitant executive pay packets.
According to an analysis by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), employees at 38 top financial companies in the country can expect to "earn nearly 18 per cent more than they did in 2008 and slightly more than in the record year of 2007."
"This year major US banks and securities firms are poised to pay their employees a record amount in compensation and benefits — about $145.85 billion," according to WSJ's analysis.
The conclusions are based on an examination of securities filings for the first nine months of 2009 and revenue estimates through year-end.
The rapid comeback of pay on the Wall Street, which would be on display as firms report fourth-quarter results, has exposed the industry to a broadening mix of proposed crackdowns, including a 10-year $90 billion bank tax about which President Barack Obama gave details yesterday.
The WSJ report noted that the surge in bonuses comes barely a year after the government bailed out the US financial system from the worst economic crisis in generations.
The analysis include banking giants JP Morgan, Bank of America and Citigroup, and securities firms such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley among others.
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