Wall Street firms are expected to earn $15 billion before taxes in 2003, a 116% increase over the $6.9 billion earned in 2002, according to the Securities Industry Association. The industry's 2003 pre-tax profits are still short of the record $21 billion earned in 2000. Firms also are expected to see a 4.5% drop in gross revenues, to $142 billion from $148.7 billion in 2002. The SIA said continued cost controls helped drive the increase in profitability, as it estimated total expenses fell 10.4% from 2002 levels. The SIA expects Wall Street businesses' profits to increase 13% to $16.9 billion in 2004.