More Fuel for Occupy Wall Streeters?

Some great timing this week by eFinancialCareers, considering the zeal of the Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York. What better time to learn what kind of bonuses financial-services workers are expecting this year?

Optimism seems to be the natural state of mind for humans, at least the ones inhabiting the financial sector. Even in 2009, amid a tragic economic quagmire for which many blamed said sector (and still do), eFinancialCareers found that 36% of Wall Streeters expected to get a bigger bonus than the previous year, compared with 26% who braced for a decrease.

The next year, with stability (and profitability) returning to financial firms, half of survey respondents predicted a juicier bonus, while just one in five thought the opposite.

This year? Even though 2011 hasn't been as lucrative for the sector as 2010 was, a substantial gap still shows up (41% think they'll get more than last year, 30% less).

Taken together, the research results (this year eFinancialCareers surveyed 1,098 financial-services pros) might paint the sort of picture that would appeal to the Occupy Wall Streeters: one that portrays an entitlement mind-set among bankers and brokers (imagine that!).

I understand that bonuses remain a fundamental part of the salary structure on Wall Street, despite Dodd-Frank's effort to put more emphasis on base pay. And everyone likes an annual raise. Yet, no matter what the financial sector's bottom line, the ones responsible for creating it expect a bigger payout every year.

I'm no banking expert. Maybe that makes sense.

Posted by David McCann | October 14, 2011 05:00pm | Comments (0)