Year-end bonuses will soon be paid out to Wall Street executives which threatens to ignite a new round of public fury. “Everyone on Wall Street is fixated on The Number. The bank bonus season, that annual rite of big money and bigger egos, begins in earnest this week, and it looks as if it will be one of the largest and most controversial blowouts the industry has ever seen. Bank executives are grappling with a question that exasperates, even infuriates, many recession-weary Americans: Just how big should their paydays be? Despite calls for restraint from Washington and a chafed public, resurgent banks are preparing to pay out bonuses that rival those of the boom years. The haul, in cash and stock, will run into many billions of dollars. Industry executives acknowledge that the numbers being tossed around — six-, seven- and even eight-figure sums for some chief executives and top producers — will probably stun the many Americans still hurting from the financial collapse and ensuing Great Recession. Goldman Sachs is expected to pay its employees an average of about $595,000 apiece for 2009, one of the most profitable years in its 141-year history. Workers in the investment bank of JPMorgan Chase stand to collect about $463,000 on average.”
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