New York Magazine: "The End of Wall Street As They Knew It"

michaelj901's picture
Rank: Orangutan | 293

From New York Magazine:
This is a long yet interesting (in some spots depressing) article on what appears to be the current climate of Wall St.

"After surprisingly successful financial reform, public vilification, and politics that have turned against them, the Masters of the Universe are masters no longer.

On Wall Street, bonus season is a sacred ritual. It is the annual rite where net worth and self-worth get elegantly reduced to a single number. During the 25-year boom that abruptly ended in 2008, the only principle that really mattered come bonus time was how you ranked against the guys to your right and left. The system was governed by a kind of atavistic justice: You eat what you kill. From the outside, the seven- and eight-figure payouts that star bankers earned could seem obscene, immoral even. But on the inside, the outlandish compensation reflected a strict, almost moral logic. "Wall Street is a meritocracy, for the most part," as a senior Citigroup executive put it to me recently. "If someone has a bonus, it's because they created value for their institution." The sanctity of the bonus was built on the idea that Wall Street pay was simply the natural order of capitalism.

And so, among the many dislocations Wall Street has suffered since 2008, none may have been more destabilizing than the headlines that flashed across Bloomberg terminals on the afternoon of January 17, when news leaked that Morgan Stanley would cap cash bonuses at just $125,000. A week later, Bank of America announced that it would be cutting the cash portion of its bonuses by 75 percent, giving the rest in stock. All across Wall Street, compensation is crashing. Goldman Sachs, coming off a lackluster fourth quarter, slashed compensation by 21 percent. "

Comments (5)

Feb 6, 2012

It'll come back. Articles come out like this every time a Wall Street reform is introduced. It's not that we don't have a way to earn as much anymore. It's just that we will have to find NEW ways to make a killing. That's what has happened in the past and that's what will happen now. Our sole job is to make money. The Street will find a way.

I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

    • 1
Feb 6, 2012

Who the fuck cares what a bunch of social rejects from the NYU school of journalism who can not keep political bias out of their articles think?

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

Feb 7, 2012

Who the fuck cares what a bunch of social rejects from the NYU school of journalism who can not keep political bias out of their articles think?

Liberal bias? Should we go back to 2002 - 2006 style madness?

ps - NYU doesn't have a school of journalism.

Feb 6, 2012

I have mixed feelings here. A part of me says that people on Wall Street have to accept the new reality sooner or later, when I was on the sell-side a few years back, people acted as if 2008-09 was just a blip on their grand road towards becoming filthy rich, with compensation expectations calibrated accordingly. On the other hand, this article clearly marks a near term bottom, financials have already been on a tear but this means there is more upside.

Feb 7, 2012