Windfall Is Seen as Bank Bonuses Are Paid in Stock

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Published in The New York Times November 8, 2009 by Louise Story

Even as Washington tries to rein in Wall Street pay, bankers are likely to make unusually large gains on the stock grants and options they received after shares in their companies fell sharply during the financial meltdown.
As banks cut bonuses last year, they shifted more pay into stock and options from cash. Within months, the financial system began to mend — partly with the help of billions of dollars in government aid — and that stock began surging in value. Some of it can be cashed in starting in just a few months.
And so the bonuses Wall Street received last year, billed as paltry at the time, are turning out to be among the most lucrative payouts ever.

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