Just one year from the much discussed “death of Wall Street,” major U.S. banks and securities firms are set to pay their employees about $140 billion this year, according to a study by the Wall Street Journal. That’s a record level, just passing the pay levels of the boom year of 2007.
The chart below from the Wall Street Journal shows that pay will vary across several firms, both in absolute terms and relative to earnings. Morgan Stanley, for instance, has lower revenues but has been setting aside more for compensation.
Note, however, that these numbers are a bit misleading. The basic figure of “compensation per employee” ignores the fact that pay on Wall Street is not divided up this way at all. The top executives get much larger pieces of the pie, while analysts and associates take home far smaller amounts. What’s more, some firms may have set aside large amounts for pay earlier in the year, only to scale back at the end of the year.
(Click for larger version of table)
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