Betting on the Bonus

I recall the first time I checked out Wall Street Oasis. It was late 2007 and all the buzz was about bonuses. The supposedly extinct douchebag banker was at his peak as a cultural icon and you could smell champagne wishes and caviar dreams in the air.

As far back as I can recall, Fifth Avenue glistened in December. Wall Street smiles every lit up the eyes of many a sales clerk. Cash registers rang and sang the "Bonus Bells". Manhattan was the playground of monkeys juiced to the tail with anticipation.

Emails and phone calls shot of at hundreds per second. What was Goldman giving out this year? How about Stanley?

The sideways glances and sarcastic snickers aimed at those poor mid-market and boutique schlubs...

Things are quite different only three years later. I'm not sure whether the industry is going through a reformation, whether people are just scared silent or this is just one of those groupthink it will all be over soon epidemics that can never be cured. What was once the apex month of a young banker's career, where screams and giggles of joy showered the Street...I hear... nothing.

In a recent report by the Korn/Ferry Institute bonus bubbles seem set to burst by anywhere from 10-25% across the board and uncertainty about the future of banker payouts continues to linger. Prop traders on the other hand, are expected to see the price of their hard work slashed in half.

Yet here it is, bonus season coming soon to an investment bank near you...

So, let's have some predictions boys and girls.

Let's be carefree and play like it's the good old days...

What are bonuses going to look like this year? How much will you be taking home?

What are you going to buy? Or will you be on cash hoard mode while cracking a box of wine on New Year's Eve?

Does this bonus season lead any of you to reflection or thought of what's to come?

Do you yet realize...that it has only just begun?

Comments (38)

Dec 16, 2010
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Dec 16, 2010
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twitter: @CorpFin_Guy

Dec 16, 2010
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More is good, all is better

Dec 16, 2010
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Dec 16, 2010
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Pretty women make us BUY beer. Ugly women make us DRINK beer.

Dec 17, 2010
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Dec 19, 2010

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