Bloomberg's Trish Regan (yes, she is no longer at CNBC), has just announced that the bank which earlier announced it is shutting down its catastrophic prop trading desk (at which point shreholders let out a sigh of relief), has proceeded with slashing banker pay by 30% for overall comp and some bonuses by as much as 70%. This follows earlier announcements by Bank of America and Morgan Stanley which earlier said they would limit cash bonuses to $150K for senior positions. At the end of the day, the biggest losers are secondary, non-financial New York jobs (supposedly there are some: rat exterminators; strippers; limo drivers; food spitters also known as waiters?) as each banker jobs indirectly supports up to 3 downstream jobs. In other words between layoffs and comp cutting, the immediate impact will likely be to leave New York City, which is the farthest point on the economic procyclical receiving end, with hundreds of thousands of layoffs. Which incidentally, to the bizarro crazy scientists at the BLS, means that initial claims are about to go negative (with the traditional upward revision in the following week).
A chart showing average salaries in NYC for financial professionals and "all other"
And while bankers are general reviled, the truth is that in NY they are largely responsible for keeping the city cranking. From the most recent report on banker comp by the NYC comptroller:
The securities industry is critically important to the economies and budgets of New York State and New York City. It now seems likely that profits will decline sharply from last year’s level, job losses will grow, and cash bonuses will be smaller. Such developments would have a ripple effect through the rest of the local economy and hinder the recovery. In addition, tax collections are likely to fall short of expectations for this year and next year, complicating already tough fiscal situations for New York State and New York City
And why every banker job is reponsible for at least three other jobs:
OSC estimates that each job created (or lost) in the securities industry leads to the creation (or loss) of almost two additional jobs in other industries in the City. (The large income losses during the crisis have slightly reduced the value of the multiplier compared with earlier estimates.) OSC also estimates that each new Wall Street job creates one additional job elsewhere in New York State, mostly in the City’s suburbs. Based on these multipliers and the current level of Wall Street employment, 1 in 8 jobs in the City and 1 in 13 jobs in the State are linked (directly or indirectly) to the securities industry.
Below is full most recent report.