Posts filed under “Wages & Income”

Wall Street Pay

Shorter Floyd Norris:

It is one thing when the best-paid people seem to be the smartest and the most accomplished. Those who make much less may not like it, but the differential seems understandable. It is another thing when those people are shown to have committed huge blunders that would have driven their companies out of business, and them into the unemployment line, but for government bailouts.

So it is now with Wall Street. In both Europe and the United States, antipathy toward the bailout is rising amid complaints that the money has not helped the economy by encouraging loans, but has kept the bankers in Champagne and caviar.

Are financial workers overpaid? And if so, will it continue? The answers, according to a new study by two economists, are yes, they are overpaid, and no, it will not last.

“Wages in finance were excessively high around 1930 and from the mid 1990s until 2006,” wrote Thomas Philippon of New York University and Ariell Reshef of the University of Virginia, in a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper released this week, “Wages and Human Capital in the U.S. Financial Industry, 1909-2006.”

Gee, I wonder why taxpayers are upset at the bailouts . . .

Source:
Wall Street Paychecks May Wither
FLOYD NORRIS
NYT, January 23, 2009

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/23/business/23norris.html

Category: Bailouts, Markets, Taxes and Policy, Wages & Income

December Labor Picture Data

via NYT > Source: Jobless Rate Hits 7.2%, a 16-Year High LOUIS UCHITELLE NYT, January 9, 2009 http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/10/business/economy/10jobs.html

Category: Digital Media, Employment, Wages & Income

NFP is . . . -524,000, Unemployment 7.2%

Today’s big NFP is as close to consensus as we have seen in recent years: within 1k of the estimates: Peter Boockvar writes: December Payrolls fell by 524k, about in line with estimates and well below the whisper of 600k-700k. But, the prior 2 mo’s were revised lower by 154k. The unemployment rate also rose…Read More

Category: Employment, Wages & Income

Impact on Household Balance Sheets

Fascinating comparison from David Rosenberg, as to how the current crisis compares to 2001-02 Tech Wreck and the Great Depression: Aggressive stimulus will only cushion the blow So far, the impact to the household balance sheet is double what was created by the 2001-02 tech wreck, and half the loss incurred during the Great Depression….Read More

Category: Consumer Spending, Economy, Wages & Income

How to Deleverage Balance Sheets

Bouncing around trading desks: Credit Suisse is using a novel approach to deleverage its balance sheet…using its illiquid assets to pay bonuses; using leverage loans and CMBS to pay compensation packages for MDs and directors. The securities will be places in a fund called Partner Asset Facility and employees will be given stakes in the…Read More

Category: Corporate Management, Credit, Derivatives, Markets, Wages & Income

The Walking Zombies of Wall Street

WSJ’s Dennis Berman tells colleague Evan Newmark that although tens of thousands of people have managed to hold on to their jobs, there isn’t much work to go around. Instead, he says, Wall Streeters are working to appear busy.

12/9/2008

Category: Finance, Markets, Video, Wages & Income

Time For Wall Street To Get Real About Bonuses

WSJ’s Dennis Berman and Evan Newmark finally agree on something: In these tough times, it was right for Wall Street executives to forego bonuses. Now is also a good time to create a fair and predictable structure for the future.

11/18/2008

Category: Video, Wages & Income

Personal Bankruptcy Rising

Front page NYT article on the increasing number of personal bankruptcy filings:

The number of personal bankruptcy filings jumped nearly 8 percent in October from September, after marching steadily upward for the last two years, said Mike Bickford, president of Automated Access to Court Electronic Records, a bankruptcy data and management company.

Filings totaled 108,595, surpassing 100,000 for the first time since a law that made it more difficult — and often twice as expensive — to file for bankruptcy took effect in 2005. That translated to an average of 4,936 bankruptcies filed each business day last month, up nearly 34 percent from October 2007.

Let me remind you that this bill was pushed by the credit card industry — mostly based on claims that were factually inaccurate. Now, the same industry weasels who pushed this legislation thru are going back to DC begging for TARP money and a handout.

Question: How long before The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 act — a 1997 credit card industry drafted boondoggle, signed by President Bush — gets revised or even revoked?

The wide-opposed bill — dislike by consumer advocates, legal scholars, retired bankruptcy judges — was passed after the credit card industry spent more than $100 million lobbying for the bill. (See this Bloomberg video on Credit Cards and the TARP)

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Source:
Downturn Drags More Consumers Into Bankruptcy
TARA SIEGEL BERNARD and JENNY ANDERSON
NYT, November 15, 2008

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/16/business/16consumer.htm

Read More

Category: Economy, Legal, Wages & Income

Good News on Stock Options & AMT

If you received and exercised stock options, and had to pay taxes on the phantom income, I have got some good news for you: Buried in the $700b TARP Bailout is this AMT tax amendment: “Their tax nightmare was created by a provision of the Internal Revenue Code called the Alternative Minimum Tax, or AMT….Read More

Category: Bailouts, Options, Taxes and Policy, Wages & Income

Hire This Man!

Depression era flashback: Remember all of those photos of people looking for work in the 1930s? The sandwich boards that said things like “WILL WORK FOR FOOD” ? Walking to work on Friday (42nd St and Vanderbilt), I bumped into Paul Nawrocki. He is looking for a job in Operations without much success. He got…Read More

Category: Economy, Employment, Wages & Income