The Masters of the Universe on Wall Street are shivering with fear, something M's of the U rarely experience, certainly not more than 3 or 4 times per each 4-hr day. Is this because:
- They have finally realized that the endgame of the economy-theft they've organized will be a disaster for the planet as a whole?
- Their economic forecasting models are predicting a massive stock slump next year?
- They can't add?
The answer is, indeed, number 3.
"I'm sorry, what?"
Yes, the Masters of Everything are in a sweat because they think they've lost money. The Masters who run us all and make decisions affecting entire nations are so numb they didn't notice a fairly ordinary switch. (Via TBogg)
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."
In some ways, a zero bonus should not come as a surprise to many bankers. As a result of the 2008 financial crisis, Wall Street firms like Goldman Sachs and banks like Citigroup raised base pay substantially in 2009 and 2010. They were seeking to placate regulators who had argued that bonuses based on performance encouraged excessive risk.
But because their obscene level of pay is in their base rate rather than in a combination of the base and an even more obscene bonus, they're all, "They're cutting my obscene income in half!" It's, like, the primitive Social Darwinian psychology of the thing.
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."
And these people, who can't read their own paychecks, these are the people who created credit default swaps, one of the most complicated financial instruments ever invented??!
If you want to re-create these circumstances in your own home, all you have to do is use 1/3 of your income to hire the local 6th grader who got the lowest score on a 3rd grade arithmetic test, proving conclusively that he can neither add nor subtract, and put him in sole charge of paying your household bills and managing your retirement account and stock portfolio.
Good luck with that. And don't forget that after he swindles you of another 1/3 of your income, you will owe him the last 1/3 as a bonus.
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