The Saddest Story Ever Told
Louis Winthorpe III: I had the most absurd nightmare. I was poor and no one liked me. I lost my job, I lost my house, Penelope hated me and it was all because of this terrible, awful Negro.
Break out the tiny violins. Some banksters are about to be forced to live on ramen and sadness:
Bonus season is fast approaching on Wall Street, but this year the talk does not center just on multimillion-dollar paydays. It’s about a new club that no one wants to join: the Zeros.
Drawn from a broad swath of back-office employees and middle-level traders, bankers and brokers, the Zeros, as they have come to be called, are facing a once-unthinkable prospect: an annual bonus of … nothing.
“It’s going to a cause a lot of panic on Wall Street,” said Richard Stein of Global Sage, an executive search firm. “Everybody is talking about it, but they’re actually concerned about it becoming public. I would not want to be head of compensation at a Wall Street firm right now.”
Even though employees will receive roughly the same amount of money, the psychological blow of not getting a bonus is substantial, especially in a Wall Street culture that has long equated success and prestige with bonus size. So there are sure to be plenty of long faces on employees across the financial sector who have come to expect a bonus on top of their base pay. Wall Streeters typically find out what their bonuses will be in January, with the payout coming in February.
One executive, whose firm prohibited discussing the topic with the news media, said the bump in base salaries had confused people, even though their overall compensation was the same. “People expect a big bonus,” this person said. “It is as if they don’t even see their base doubled last year.”
Dealing with the Zeros can be complicated. “It’s a real headache,” said another senior banker, who asked not to be identified because the topic is so volatile at his company. There has been so much grousing that in some cases, he said, “we’ll throw $20,000 or $25,000 at each of the Zeros so they’re not discouraged.”
My gawd. Only $25,000? You can’t even go in the showroom and sit in a C-Class for $25k. Might as well go fucking Galt…
But buck up, lil Zero, you can become a member, albeit a highly compensated member, of the Class Warfare class:
While Zeros are turning up in the ranks of back-office employees and midtier bankers and traders who typically earn $250,000 to $500,000, their bosses way up the compensation ladder are still expected to notch handsome paydays in the millions.
In terms of overall profit, Wall Street is on track for one of its best years ever, although it will trail 2009, which was pumped up by federal bailout money and the rebound from the financial crisis.
In the first three quarters of the year, Wall Street earned $21.4 billion, putting it on track to easily outpace 2006, when the economy was booming, and well ahead of the New York City government’s initial estimate of $20.6 billion for profit in all of 2010.
This year, Wall Street’s five biggest firms have put aside nearly $90 billion for bonuses.
That’s right, you get $25k out of a pool of $90 BILLION. How’s that feel? Like you’re getting pissed on? Yeah? Like that?
Well, it’s called “trickle down” and you’re soaking in it.