Bonus Mayhem

Eddie Braverman's picture
Eddie Braverman - Certified Professional
Rank: The Pro | banana points 21,143

Hey guys. My internet isn't set up yet here in Paris, so I'm pirating a very spotty signal from one of my neighbors, so I have to be brief. Just thought you'd like to see this if you haven't already:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/11/12/earlysho...

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Comments (13)

Nov 13, 2008

I have a feeling, they might remove some money from the bonus pool especially since the treasury changed track yesterday.

Nov 13, 2008

"Even without bonuses, the mean annual salary for a securities industry employee was just under $400,000, David notes, ten times more than the average U.S. worker."

The average U.S. worker didn't work their asses off their entire high school and college life, work their ass off some more for a few years before B-school, take massive loans to pay for B-school, work their asses off for numerous 100 hour weeks, and oh by the way work in an industry where a vast amount of people who did all of this were given a pink slip instead of a bonus...Risk(and hard work) Vs. Reward fuck face...

Nov 15, 2008
GordonGecko:

"Even without bonuses, the mean annual salary for a securities industry employee was just under $400,000, David notes, ten times more than the average U.S. worker."

The average U.S. worker didn't work their asses off their entire high school and college life, work their ass off some more for a few years before B-school, take massive loans to pay for B-school, work their asses off for numerous 100 hour weeks, and oh by the way work in an industry where a vast amount of people who did all of this were given a pink slip instead of a bonus...Risk(and hard work) Vs. Reward fuck face...

To be honest, if you have a job on Wall Street that is anything above sweeping it, you probably don't know the meaning of "working your ass off". Yes, you may work long hours in a stressful environment, often for no recognition and sometimes for a pink slip, but unless you're laying bricks for a living or driving a trash truck, or some other manual labor, you're not "working your ass off".

Don't get indignant. You went to college and took out those egregious loans so you wouldn't have to work your ass off. At least be honest.

Nov 15, 2008
Edmundo Braverman:
GordonGecko:

"Even without bonuses, the mean annual salary for a securities industry employee was just under $400,000, David notes, ten times more than the average U.S. worker."

The average U.S. worker didn't work their asses off their entire high school and college life, work their ass off some more for a few years before B-school, take massive loans to pay for B-school, work their asses off for numerous 100 hour weeks, and oh by the way work in an industry where a vast amount of people who did all of this were given a pink slip instead of a bonus...Risk(and hard work) Vs. Reward fuck face...

To be honest, if you have a job on Wall Street that is anything above sweeping it, you probably don't know the meaning of "working your ass off". Yes, you may work long hours in a stressful environment, often for no recognition and sometimes for a pink slip, but unless you're laying bricks for a living or driving a trash truck, or some other manual labor, you're not "working your ass off".

Don't get indignant. You went to college and took out those egregious loans so you wouldn't have to work your ass off. At least be honest.

You just contradicted yourself. How is working long hours in a stressful environment not working your ass off? Your argument is that if your not doing manual labor then you are not doing real work. You also assume that people go to college so they don't have to work your ass off?

Well asshole college is fucking hard work. That's why what only about 55% of people who start a degree actually finish it and I'm not demeaning the blue collar worker but this crap you pull off that if your not a blue collar worker then your not working your ass off is BS.

Nov 15, 2008

People on Wall Street are also a few SD's above the median person in terms of capabilities (intellectual, social, and otherwise) and that is combined with work ethic too.

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Nov 15, 2008

So doctors don't work their asses off? Lawyers don't work their asses off? I have a hard time believing only garbage men work their asses off.

Also, instead of the "mean" they should perhaps do a median. I bet it's much lower than 400k.

Nov 16, 2008

I absolutely agree with GordonGecko. I don't doubt that the poeple sweeping the streets of Wall Street and taking away the garbage work very hard too. But there's a difference.

I summered with a guy who came to the US from South America when he was five. He grew up in a bad part of LA where the high school graduation rate was something like 50%. However, he learned early on that he didn't want to be doing manual work for the rest of his life. In high school he worked his ass off and earned top grades, and received a scholarship to a top Ivy school where he performed extremely well and recently got an offer to work at a top BB.

Now tell me why this kid didn't work hard enough to earn $400,000 / year (although a figure I feel is misrepresented in the article). Granted, not every one has the same story, but it's difficult to deny that we haven't made sacrifices too, to put ourselves into a position to receive interviews and offers with these banks. And when we do get the job, we sacrifice our free time, our sleep and sometimes our health.

I would love to put any one who criticizes the salaries to step in the shoes of a banker for a few months, working 100 hour weeks. Guaranteed they would come out with a shut mouth and a better understanding of just how much you bust your ass.

Nov 16, 2008

While I'm venting, I thought this response to the article sums up my feelings quite well:

"It amazes me that almost every comment on here is focused on the bankers and executives as villains.

There is absolutely ZERO sense of accountability among the American public.

Who are all you kidding? This mess is 100% due to the rampant defaults on mortgages by the HOMEOWNERS. Not the banks. All they did was invest their money the same way people buying the homes did. The banks are no different than anyone else - caught up in the speculation that homes would continue to appreciate.

You can''t start fixing the problem until you know the cause - LOOK IN THE MIRROR. Even AMEX is panicking now because people are defaulting on their payments of consumer credit card debt.

Bank CEO''s and other executives didn''t cause this - YOU DID AMERICA - WAKE UP! Share the blame and stop pointing fingers."

Yes, Wall Street is partly responsible too, but please. IMO, Americans' biggest problem is that they cannot take responsibility for their actions. It's always someone else's fault.

On the same note, it makes me sad that the same psychological concept played into many people's decisions to vote for Obama. Don't get me wrong, I think he has some great things to offer but I've heard one too many times from supporters, "Thank God Obama is elected, because of him, my life is about to get better." And all I want to shout at them is that if you want a better life, go out and make one for yourself. Don't expect anyone else to do it for you.

Once people start taking their own lives by the horn and stop living beyond their means... we might get somewhere.

Nov 13, 2008

If we really look back, it's not bankers who really made this mess, it's those retarded commercial bankers who hand out loans that have absolutely skill in underwriting a loan. You can't really blame a dumb guy for making a dumb decision by taking out a huge ass loan but you can definitely blame the mortgage broker or the commercial banker who realized well enough what giving out that loan meant. Anyways, bankerchic, I believe the CEOs do hold a lot of blame for what happened. What about the top managers at AIG? Are they so stupid as to insure every bond that came under their goddamn nose? Additionally, there is something called "taking calculated risk", and I believe the banks did fail miserably in performing that function and that is of course due to the ratings agencies to a large extent. I think the blame is to be shared by everyone equally. Wall street and main street are both getting what they deserve. Homeowners get thrown out of their houses, and bankers get thrown out of their offices. What do we learn from this? Not to make the same mistake again.

Nov 16, 2008

Edmundo,

I think there are a great deal of people who would disagree with your definition of working hard. Your circumstances may have meant that if you didn't work you would be kicked to the curb, but that doesn't necessarily make the jobs you worked hard. For me, what makes something hard is not only the task at hand, but the time and conditions in which you must do it. Hammering rebar through cement parking blocks may be exhausting, but if you only work a handful of hours a day and are allowed to take breaks when you're tired, it gets significantly easier. However, if you told us that you had to do it around the clock, got woken up in the middle of the night to slave away and meet construction deadlines, yeah, I'd classify that as hard work.

The truth is that working on Wall Street is physically and mentally demanding. You put tremendous strain on your body and undergo intense levels of stress, sometimes to the point of puking blood into a trash can when interest rates shift. As you look across America, few jobs place this level of demand on the employee. Sure, there may be jobs out there that are more dangerous, pay a lot less, or just plain suck, but that in no way classifies them as requiring more or harder work.

~~~~~~~~~~~
CompBanker

Nov 15, 2008

Of all the jobs I've had in my life, including manual labor, Wall Street seemed the hardest, mostly for the reasons you mentioned. I just hate the sense of entitlement a lot of these kids come out of college with because they somehow had the temerity to weather 4 years in a classroom at their parents' expense.

I've loved a lot of the manual labor jobs I've had. Conversely, when I was a full time commodities trader, making more in a month than most Street monkeys do in a year, I woke up every morning and the first words out of my mouth were, "God, I hate my fucking job." Every morning.

These days, as an itinerant writer and by extension something of a Street insider, I've managed to strike a balance. I make use of the lessons I learned during my years on the Street and the contacts I made that are now top management at many firms to provide the grist for my information mill.

Though I know many of you took umbrage at my sentiments, know that I have your best interests in mind whenever I attempt to humble you. Any self-awareness you manage to glean from my rantings comes a lot cheaper than the lessons the Street wants to teach you about humility. Take it from someone who knows firsthand.

Nov 13, 2008

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