Chart Of The Day: Average New York Banker Makes 5.2 More Than Average Non-Banker

Tyler Durden's picture

The annual New York State Comptroller report on "The Securities Industry in New York City" is traditionally full of relevant information about the state of Wall Street (previously here) from the perspective of the biggest beneficiary of a strong and vibrant Wall Street: the New Your State tax authority which is happy to collect as much taxes on soaring Wall Street bonuses as the law, and IRS audits, will allow. We list the full report highlights below, but the most salient point is the following: in New York City, the average banker made $360,700 in 2012. This is 5.2 more than the average non-financial job in the city (i.e., all other jobs).

The good news: This is one whole turn lower than the peak 6.2x hit in 2007.

The bad news: Twenty-five years ago, this number was 2.0x.

Which is also the reason why a few hundred thousand bankers pray to
Alan Greenspan every night, and sacrifice a filet mignon in gratitude to
both him and the Great Moderation, which allowed this mindboggling run
up to occur in the first place.

More from the report:

The average salary (including bonuses) paid to securities industry employees in New York City grew rapidly from 2003 through 2007, when it peaked at $401,500. The average salary fell sharply in 2009 as the financial crisis deepened, but much of the loss was regained in 2010. Since then, salaries have remained stable, averaging $360,700 in 2012 (see Figure 4). While the 2012 average salary was less than the 2007 peak, it was higher than in any year prior to 2007, and was by far the highest average among the City’s major industries.


The disparity between the average salary in the City’s securities industry and in the rest of the private sector remains wide, even though recently it has narrowed slightly. In 2012, the average salary in the securities industry was 5.2 times greater than the average in the rest of the private sector ($69,200). At its peak in 2007, the average was 6.2 times greater. Twenty-five years ago, the average salary in the industry was twice as high as in other industries.

Yet looking at the actual amount of bonuses paid out one wouldn't believe that the ratio was as sticky near its all time highs, as it has been. The chart below shows the amount of actual bonus pool by year on Wall Street. Certainly not at the highs that bankers have grown to expect over the past decade:

So how is the per banker comp still so high? Simple: the number of bankers is being slashed at a pace not seen seen the Lehman bankruptcy.

Why is this important:

OSC estimates that each new job created (or lost) in the securities industry leads to the creation (or loss) of two additional jobs in other industries in the City.


The size of the multiplier reflects the high income levels associated with the industry and its importance in the City’s economy. These additional (or fewer) jobs result from Wall Street firms engaging in additional (or fewer) business-to-business transactions (e.g., with professional services firms and other financial firms), and from Wall Street employees increasing (or decreasing) their household spending on such things as restaurants, stores, travel and personal services.


OSC also estimates that each Wall Street job created (or lost) results in one additional (or fewer) job elsewhere in New York State, primarily in the City’s suburbs. Many Wall Street employees are commuters, who live and spend in the suburbs, thereby supporting local businesses and generating jobs.

Translation: less Wall Street jobs, much less NY State (and City) taxes.

Here is what the report had to say on the topic of banker bonuses:

Like most businesses, financial firms report compensation (i.e., base salary, fringe benefits and bonuses, including deferred remuneration) on an accrual basis of accounting. As such, cash bonuses paid in January through March of one calendar year (for work performed during the prior calendar year) are reported in the prior year’s financial statements. For example, most of the resources that are being set aside for cash bonuses in 2013 will be paid out during the first quarter of 2014.


Previously, most bonuses reflected work done in a given year and were paid in cash. This tended to reward short-term profits at the expense of long-term performance. In response to new regulations and other compensation reforms designed to reduce excessive risk-taking, firms have raised base salaries, and now pay a smaller share of bonuses in the current year while a larger share is deferred to future years in the form of cash, stock options or other forms of compensation. Clawback provisions have also been implemented.6 In addition, a greater share of bonuses is now being paid outside the traditional bonus period, making it harder to distinguish bonuses from base salaries.


While these developments have made estimating the size of the cash bonus pool more difficult, they have also  reduced volatility in industry tax payments to the State and City. Collections now reflect an average of bonus payments from several years, allowing strong years to offset weak years.


In February 2013, OSC estimated that the cash bonus pool for securities industry workers in New York City paid during the traditional bonus season grew by 8 percent to $20 billion (see Figure 3). The increase in the size of the cash bonus pool reflects a number of developments, including payments received for work done in 2012, when profits were strong, and the realization of bonuses deferred from prior years (including income accelerated into 2012 from future years to avoid the higher federal income tax rates that took effect in  2013).


Total compensation for the broker/dealer operations of member firms of the New York Stock Exchange increased by 5.5 percent during the first half of 2013, and an OSC examination of the financial statements of a sample of large and small firms (including firms that engage in a broader range of activities than traditional broker/dealer operations) also found that compensation was higher than last year.7 These trends suggested that bonuses might be higher in 2013, but recent developments have cast doubt on that outlook. Although it is too early to predict the size  of the 2013 bonus pool, bonus awards traditionally vary by firm and by business activity.

Other highlights from the report:

  • The average salary in the securities industry in New York City was
    $360,700 in 2012. While the 2012 average was less than the 2007 peak, it
    was higher than in any year prior to 2007, and was 5.2 times greater
    than the  average salary in the rest of the private sector.
  • The securities industry had a strong first half of 2013, with broker/dealer profits of $10.1 billion, but profitability is likely to be lower in the second half of the year.
  • Despite strong profits over the past four years, the securities industry is smaller in New York City than before the financial crisis. Securities industry employment totaled 163,400 jobs in August 2013, 25,600 fewer (13.5 percent) than before the crisis.
  • The securities industry showed strong job growth during the first part of the recovery (adding 9,600 jobs), but since August 2011 it has resumed streamlining and has lost 7,300 jobs.
  • New York City has experienced very strong private sector job growth during the recovery, but the securities industry has made only a small contribution (less than 1 percent). In contrast, the industry played a much larger role in employment growth during prior recoveries.
  • The securities industry is one of the City’s main economic engines. Even though the industry accounted for only 5 percent of private sector jobs in 2012, it accounted for 22 percent of wages.
  • OSC estimates that City tax payments from securities industry-related activities (including capital gains) grew by 27 percent to $3.8 billion last fiscal year, fueled by changes in federal tax rates. This represents the second-highest level on record, and is higher than before the crisis.
  • Last fiscal year, securities-related activities accounted for 16 percent of New York State’s tax revenue and 8.5 percent of New York City’s.
  • Regulatory reform has proceeded at a slow pace. Less than half (40 percent) of the rules required by the Dodd-Frank Act have been completed, although the industry has begun to modify its practices in anticipation of regulatory changes

Full report can be found here.

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hedgeless_horseman's picture



That is what happens when you can privatize profits and socialize losses.

The Glass-Steagall Act never stood a chance.  R.I.P.

The Glass–Steagall separation of commercial and investment banking was in four sections of the 1933 Banking Act (sections 16, 20, 21, and 32),[24] along with a fifth related provision (5c).[2] Under the 1933 Act, institutions were given a year to choose between commercial banking and securities investment. Banks were permitted to receive no more than 10% of their income from the securities markets. Because the limit was so small, most banks just abandoned the securities business and focused on banking.[20] The Banking Act of 1935 clarified the 1933 legislation and resolved inconsistencies in it. Together, they prevented many or most deposit institutions national from:

  •     dealing in securities for customers
  •     investing in most securities themselves
  •     underwriting or distributing most securities
  •     affiliating with companies involved in such similar activities
  •     sharing employees with organizations involved in such similar activities

Conversely, Glass-Steagall prevented securities business from taking deposits.

The driver for the legislation was the belief that much of the cause of the 1929 crash was due to the misuse of customers and their funds in support of business lines relating to securities and underwriting, particularly for high-risk securities.

There were several loopholes that regulators and financial firms were able to exploit during the lifetime of Glass-Steagall. Savings and Loans were not restricted by most of Glass-Steagall, nor were state-chartered banks that did not belong to the Federal Reserve System. It also did not prevent securities firms from owning such institutions. S&Ls and securities firms took advantage of these loopholes starting in the 1960s to create products and affiliated companies that chipped away at commercial banks' deposit businesses.

There was also ambiguity in the affiliation prohibitions placed on commercial banks. Starting in the 1970s, banks started using subsidiaries and affiliates to do limited investment business with customers.

Regulators allowed the companies to use these loopholes, negating much of Glass-Steagall long before its actual repeal in 1999.

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

So this is what the price of a soul goes for these days, hmmm?  5x the avg salary, "Sure, just tell me what to do and I'll do it, no questions asked."

Sad.  Selling out humanity for $300k grand a year, of which almost half would go to the Federal Gov't?  Not worth it, IMO.

nope-1004's picture

Stealing is not "making".  Anyone can rob a jewellery store, steal thousands and call it "earnings".  But it's not.


TruthInSunshine's picture

If it weren't for the literal racketeering operation known as "equity markets" and the (at minimum) 1.1 Trillion USD (aka confidence paper) the FRBNY was conjuring & injecting annually into the too-big-to-jail criminal bankster outfits, the rate of compensation for bankers in NYC would be approximately 1/2 as much as it is.

If anything close to free market economics were allowed to produce natural equilibrium for the average compensation of a wankin' banker (i.e. Government & FRBNY subsidization of the financial industry was eliminated) would ebb closer to 1/4 of what it currently is.

Washington D.C. & the financial district of New York City are both insulated, subsidized, parasitic, "bubble" economies, owing nearly the entirety of their salary structure, tax base & artificial & grossly inflated living standards to the fact that they literally drain massive amounts of real & true economic productivity from the rest of the nation.

K Street in D.C. & Wall Street in NYC are now full fledged members of the "we exist and grow fatter via taxpayer blood" Complex that many industrial & military "defense" contractors have for so long belonged to.

Odin's picture

Awesome post Truth... crony capitalism aka fascism, with a healthy dose of a totalitarian big brother police state... Ahh the American dream...

fourchan's picture
dont be fooled. 
this situation is the system called the fed reserve. 
the system is working perfectly. 
the system has taken 100 years to bring the only uncontrolled nation to its knees. 

the system is, if you haven't seen it yet. 

to enslave a free people to debt with paper created out of thin air, 
and capture all productive assets through boom and bust cycles the system creates.

kaiserhoff's picture

Fonz reminded me of something that I know, but sometimes fail to recall and process.

The Jap long bond is at .6%, nominal.  Real -6% to broke, nothing, nada.

This experiment has been run, boys and girls.  Japan has had negative real rates since 1989, and it hollowed out their economy long before fuck-U-Shiva.  The interests of Jew Bankers uber alles. 

kralizec's picture

Grateful for this closing statement - "Starting in the 1970s, banks started using subsidiaries and affiliates to do limited investment business with customers. Regulators allowed the companies to use these loopholes, negating much of Glass-Steagall long before its actual repeal in 1999."

People are not aware of the evolution of things...most things in fact, but facts are stubborn things!

hedgeless_horseman's picture



I liked this statement as well:

The driver for the legislation was the belief that much of the cause of
the 1929 crash
was due to the misuse of customers and their funds in
support of business lines relating to securities and underwriting,
particularly for high-risk securities

In similiar news...


JPMorgan Chase & Co. is likely to lead the underwriting of Chrysler
Group LLC's initial public offering
, CNBC reported late on Wednesday,
citing a person familiar with the offer.

That is correct.  Bailed-out bank brings bailed-out car company public. 

Fascism and moral hazard for the mother fucking win! 

One more time...

The driver for the legislation was the belief that much of the cause of
the 1929 crash
was due to the misuse of customers and their funds in
support of business lines relating to securities and underwriting,
particularly for high-risk securities.

tip e. canoe's picture

anyone allowing the Morgue to even hold a penny of their $ is a glutton for punishment.

every time i see a friend pull out a Chase card, i read em the riot act.

cuz that's what friends are for :)

Hippocratic Oaf's picture

who's surprised?

print that shit!

HUGE_Gamma's picture

What about the average ZeroHedge daytrader blog reader gold bug doomsdayer short seller?

Ms. Erable's picture

True, even for the trolls. They're pedestrian and mundane, but not average.

game theory's picture

my doctor told me I was average.

Grande Tetons's picture

I earn less than the average NYC banker.  

Reason. I am responsible for my losses. 


Greed is great as long as somebody else pays for your fuck ups. 


Agent P's picture

Wall Street's Motto: "We want to take our experience and your money and turn it into our money and your experience." 

Winston Churchill's picture

How to make a muppet rich.

1) Start with a very rich muppet.....

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

The (mid level) priests of the fiat faith are deserving of their just compensation for doing God's work.


Cdad's picture is hard work being a drain on society, a parasite, a liar, and a crook.  Them's long hard hours.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Whoever said thieving was easy clearly wasn't an overworked underpaid New York Banker.

<The least they can do to unwind between 14 hour stints skimming off the cash register is a little lot of hookers and coke.>

tip e. canoe's picture

OT - how did the Cog's garden grow?

good first year?

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Hit and miss. It only rained twice this year, once for 25 days and once for 35 days. Combine that with the fact that first soil wasn't turned until June 19th and we are very happy with what the garden produced this year. We are already planing for a major expansion next spring.

We just gently evicted an opossum who had taken up residence under the front porch. He was upsetting the cat when he helped himself to the cat food without asking first. We trapped him and then drove him five miles down the blue ridge parkway before setting him free near a creek in a heavily wooded area. Video at 11. :)

tip e. canoe's picture

videos like that would inspire me to watch the news :)

see if you can get some rock dust (even if you gotta order some azomite from amazon ;~) ) to pour on the garden this fall.  then cover with wood chips and/or dead leaves (the older the tree the better).   best to do it in the fall to get those microbes to work on the minerals over the winter so that your plant roots can take em up early in the spring when they're young.   that way, they'll better be able to weather whatever the weather throws at em.

think quality over quantity.  you can grow an amazing amount in a small amount of space if you can dial in your soil just right.

LawsofPhysics's picture

That's okay, most "mortals" have stopped playing their bullshit game and will be more than willing to have those paper-pushers over "for dinner" in the not-so-distant future.

Seems the world needs to re-learn what value is, again...

Widowmaker's picture

Value is in misinformation and crooked markets that trade in anything quantified in US fraud fiat.

If it's paper it's conjured nonsense.

Ruffcut's picture

So what a good hooker makes 20 times that of the working housewife, too.

kaiserhoff's picture

Working housewife?

What color is the sky in your world?

TeamDepends's picture

It's hard work stealing your money.

prains's picture

nothing wrong with making money and lots of it if it's something of value, people can use it freely and it's primary purpose is not to kill,maim, disfigure and pollute......not a lot of that going on in the nSSA

JSD's picture

Would love to see this on an hourly basis.  I bet it's equal to or less than.

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

I would love to see this on a moral basis.

krispkritter's picture

The insecurities industry pays it's immoral legion of thieves well.  While I'm sure not all are awake to the fact they aren't doing God's Work, I'm betting the top dogs are well heeled in screwing the masses and smiling all the way to the bank(s)...

yogibear's picture

Ya think  you  would see this with all the Fed's transfer of wealth from the savers to the banksters. 

Expect even more with Yellen. Yellen's even more determined to devalue the US dollar.


HUGE_Gamma's picture

The math on this is complex. MANY of  the back office and support jobs in banking are gone, the amount of investment professionals in the city has probably gone up so the average salary is way higher from a smaller base.So i would say that banking salaries are probably down to flat.

Pairadimes's picture

I advise them to spend the surplus on fortifications.

krispkritter's picture

I believe you meant 'fornications'...and coke.

kaiserhoff's picture

Israeli passports,

and diamonds sewn into their clothes.

Run, Ben, Run.

thewayitis's picture



  And now the government contemplate taking our 401k,'s and other retirement securities ....Here: For these BASTARDS ?      The people need to fight back.  And HARD ......       Over my dead body you bastards ......
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Contemplating?  As far as the gov is concerned, the money is already in their hands, and theirs, the only question is when, and how they legally take it.  They already have control (over the pensions, etc), meaning the money is as good as gone.

LawsofPhysics's picture

Bingo, actually since 1998.  Problem is, they forgot to disarm the sheeple.

kralizec's picture

They are working hard to correct that...

Now is not the time to stop gumming up their works.

Winston Churchill's picture

It was as much yours as the carrot held in front of an ass.

At least you can still get it out. A pension of mine is trapped in

the UK where you cannot take the cash out unless a doctor says you will live <12months.

Cash out now.

WarHorse's picture

The politicans are stealing more than the bankers !

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Correction:  The politicians are stealing FOR the banksters.

Sunshine n Lollipops's picture

Honor among thieves requires a fair split of the take. 

ebworthen's picture

Ticks cans swell their abdomen 5X when sucking blood from a victim.

Oldwood's picture

Bankers are behaving much like the rest of the corporate world squeazing profits fro fewer employees and marginally increasing the pay for thr remaining few. I still believe in free markets even though I haven't seen one since my last unicorn and as such have no real gripe woth what anyone earns, but I do draw the line at graft and theft.