Wall Street banks have had a decent crisis so far. That is unlikely to translate to bumper bonus payments for bankers and traders, as chief executives and boards grapple with the optics of big payouts amid economic hardship on Main Street…

According to New York-based compensation consulting firm Johnson Associates, banking industry bonuses are likely to be flat overall compared with 2019 but with wide variations, with lower payouts in retail banking and higher payouts for equity and debt traders, salespeople and underwriters, and “unusual scrutiny” of pay for chief executive officers.

“Investment bankers on average are going to get paid more,” said Alan Johnson, head of the consulting firm. “It’s uncomfortable in the middle of a pandemic. Some of these people are not beloved to begin with and then we’re going to have stories about people going out and buying fancy cars, and fancy apartments, and that’s going to make a lot of people angry.”

The Wall Street Journal / January 7, 2021