Wall Street’s senior executives have been holed up in conference rooms across Manhattan the last couple of weeks, locked in tense all-day sessions. The special project: dividing up this year’s spoils as bonus season approaches. Over the last month or two, headlines have speculated that 2013 will turn out to be an excellent one on Wall Street. By some estimates, bonuses should rise as much as 10 percent across the board, if not more. A survey of bankers in London released over the weekend suggested they expected to receive bonus increases of as much as 44 percent. By the sound of it, you would think that being a banker on Wall Street once again meant you were a 1980s-style Master of the Universe…..

According to Johnson Associates, a compensation consulting firm, big banks set aside $91.44 billion for 2013 bonuses in the first nine months, down from $92.49 billion in the period a year earlier. An investment banking managing director might make $850,000, down from at least $1 million a couple of years ago and $2 million to $3 million before that. A vice president is likely to receive about $400,000, compared with $750,000 a couple of years ago.

The New York Times / December 17, 2013