But prior to today, I was an officer at a big blue blood Wall Street bank that I’m sure was one of the banks that doled out bonuses this past December.
Starting out, my salary was low. But at the end of my first year, I got my salary as a bonus. And a 67% salary increase on top of that.
This all helped a newbie alone in the city who lived check-to-check my first year in a tiny studio, eating soba noodles on paper plates.
But I digress…I was young and hardy, and bought a stereo with my first paycheck. And Maxwell’s new cd.
This slowed down as I moved up the chain towards that glass ceiling that was waiting for me. And this all happened in the late 90′s/early 2000′s.
Today, it makes no sense whatsoever for bonuses to be doled out of this magnitude.
The reasoning I’m hearing is topped by needing to keep talented people. But this isn’t 1998, when all you had to do was cross the street to Lehman or another firm to get a fat signing bonus, a better title and better salary. There IS NO OTHER BANK!!
But this year according to my big bank colleagues if you did a good job, your bonus stayed flat or went down. If you knew the right person, were high up on the chain, or seen to have Talent(tm), you got a higher bonus and in some cases a promotion.
Yes, many people got PROMOTIONS in 2008. Promotions. Which on Wall Street is supposed to come with a higher base salary. You can’t have an Associate earning the same or more than a Vice President. How embarrassing for the VP!
In short, even though I’m on Wall Street I’m not part of one of the bailed out banks who rewarded their employees for crappy performance and dismal earnings with money earned by John and Jane Taxpayer. Shame shame shame.
Go get ‘em Prez.
Want more stories from the inside of Wall Street? Please buy my book Three Little Securities!