Happy Bonus Season!
Good news! The financial industry plans to pick up the stimulus slack as the government's efforts start to tail off next quarter:
Having shaken off the biggest economic decline since the 1930s, almost three in five traders, analysts and fund managers believe their 2009 bonuses will either increase or won’t change, according to a quarterly poll of Bloomberg customers. Only one in four see a decline. Asians are the most optimistic about pay and Americans and Europeans somewhat less so.
“The large banks are knocking the cover off the ball,” said Daniel Alpert, managing director of New York-based investment bank Westwood Capital LLC. The industry is “making money, though with government help.”
Worldwide, a majority of market professionals in the survey also turn thumbs down on government attempts to limit compensation, with 51 percent saying restrictions will stifle useful innovation. Only about 38 percent think pay limits will control excessive risk-taking.
There are still some naysayers out there, like Mark Borges, a compensation consultant at Compensia Inc., who says the survey results "give some fuel to the people who claim that Wall Street hasn't really gotten it." But me? I'm just grateful that bankers are going to be part of the economic recovery of struggling Porsche dealerships and Cape Cod real estate agents. I'd say they get it just fine.