Wall Street Compensation Reaches ‘Near-Record Levels’ In 2012

Wall Street firms are shedding jobs by the thousands, but total compensation isn’t falling. In fact, according to a new report from the New York state comptroller, compensation on Wall Street is nearing record levels, with the total rising to more than $60 billion in 2012, the New York Times reports:

The report showed that total compensation on Wall Street last year rose 4 percent, to more than $60 billion. That was higher than any total except those in 2007 and 2008 — before the financial crisis fully took its toll on pay.The average pay package of securities industry employees in New York State was $362,950, up 16.6 percent over the last two years.

That number doesn’t take into account year-end bonuses; another report found that nearly half of Wall Street employees believe their bonuses will be larger than they were last year. The comptroller’s report found, however, that bonus pools were likely to shrink for the second consecutive year.

For the people running Wall Street’s biggest companies, pay isn’t always linked to performance. Wall Street executive pay rose more than 20 percent in 2011, even as 33 of the 50 biggest companies saw negative share returns. Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit, for instance, made $43 million last year even though his company’s stock price dropped 44 percent.