DIMINISHING RETURNS: This is how much less everyone on Wall Street is earning than in 2007

Wall Street just isn’t as remunerative as it used to be.

And the chart below, which is based on compensation data from the annual Options Group survey, shows just how much less Wall Streeters earn now versus 2007.

Aside from a short-lived blip in 2009, total compensation has been heading in one direction: down.

The only business line where compensation is even close to the boom year level is foreign exchange, while at the other end of the spectrum, staff working in equities, prime finance, securitized products and credit all earn less than half of what they did in 2007.

The survey takes in the views of the top 25% of performers at the top 10 firms in each business line. They are asked what they expect to earn for each calendar year, which includes their base salary through that year and the bonus paid the following spring for work through the previous year.

And there are fewer front office traders too. According to data analytics company Coalition, front office headcount at the top ten banks was 51,000 at the end of the third quarter, down from 63,900 at the end of the third quarter in 2010. Fixed income headcount alone has fallen by 7,000.

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