According to the WSJ, Wall Street's end-of-year bonuses will shrink drastically thanks to dismal fourth-quarter figures. Around 400 partners at Goldman Sachs will see their net pay cut in half, while Morgan Stanley's bonuses may dip from 40% to 30%. Some socialist bankers (they exist) might suggest that a falling tide sinks all boats, but those idiots clearly haven't stepped aboard the Serene. Never ones to take fairness lying down, a group of executives at the brokerage firm Jefferies Group are threatening to sue or quit or both if their pay isn't up to par.
Jeffries' CEO released a memo last month warning employees that if they did quit, they'd be forced to return the portion of the bonuses they received, a stipulation that exists at many financial firms. But executives at the company are following in the footsteps of their pointy-toed brethren across the pond by threatening to sue.
"It's a terrible time to be an employee," a New York compensation lawyer tells the Post, as the score to Les Misérables presumably played softly in the background. He anticipates an uptick in lawsuits against companies who keep employee bonuses if they choose to walk. "In the next month or two, we're going to start seeing those cases." Curiously, he doesn't comment on the economy for financial services compensation attorneys.
The Journal does note a silver lining: because stock prices were low, more employees could be receiving shares instead of cash bonuses, which will presumably be worth more once their company's performance improves. But the real answer to the problem of these shrinking Wall Street bonuses? Get rid of all that pesky regulation.