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March 12, 2011

Infographic On Wall Street Bonus : Facts Vs Fiction










 More than 70 percent of Americans say big bonuses should be banned this year at Wall Street firms that took taxpayer bailouts, a Bloomberg National Poll shows.
 
An additional one in six favors slapping a 50 percent tax on bonuses exceeding $400,000. Just 7 percent of U.S. adults say bonuses are an appropriate incentive reflecting Wall Street’s return to financial health.

A large majority also want to tax Wall Street profits to reduce the federal budget deficit. A levy on financial services firms is the top choice among more than a dozen deficit-cutting options presented to respondents.

With U.S. unemployment at 9.8 percent, resentment of bonuses and banking profits unites Americans across political, gender, age and income groups. Among Republicans, who generally are skeptical of business regulation, 76 percent support a government ban on big bonuses to bailout recipients, that’s higher than backing among Democrats or independents.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon got a bonus package for 2009 valued at $17 million and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein received a $9 million all-stock bonus for last year, down from his Wall Street record $67.9 million in 2007.

“The American people bailed them out and immediately they went and paid their employees very large bonuses,” says poll respondent Michael Robertson, 43, of Wayne, Michigan. “I don’t believe they should have a bonus at all for a while.

The state comptroller of New York reckons that Wall Street firms paid $20.8 billion in cash bonuses to their employees in the state in 2010. This was 8% lower than the total for 2009, and just 61% of the sum paid in 2006, when bonuses peaked at $34.3 billion. The decline reflects a shift toward deferred compensation and higher base salaries rather than lower profits. Total profits of $27.6 billion made 2010 Wall Street’s most profitable year with the exception of 2009, when it benefited from bail-out money and low interest rates. The average bonus paid on Wall Street nearly doubled between 2003 and 2006, when it peaked at $191,360. At $128,530, the average payment last year exceeded that in any year between 1985 and 2004.