Wall Street profits could top $19 billion in 2010, down 69% from the record $61.4 billion in 2009 but still ranking as potentially the fourth most profitable, according to a report released by Thomas P. DiNapoli, New York state comptroller and sole trustee of the $124.8 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund, Albany.
The report also said 2010 is expected to be “the sixth best year in at least 30 years on an inflation-adjusted basis.”
Last year's supersized profits were “fueled by federal assistance and low interest rates,” the report said. This year, Wall Street is “downsizing as it adjusts to new regulatory and economic conditions,” Mr. DiNapoli said in a statement about the report.
Among other findings, the report noted that “total wages paid to securities industry employees who work in New York City fell by 28.5% in 2009, the largest decline in at least 30 years, reflecting layoffs and much smaller cash bonuses paid at the beginning of 2009 for work performed in 2008, which registered record losses.
“The average wage in the securities industry in New York City fell by a record 20.5% in 2009 to $311,330 — still 4.9 times higher than the average in the rest of the private sector, $63,650. While the cash bonus pool for 2010 may be smaller than last year — as revenues, profits and compensation (has) trended downward this year — the average bonus may be larger, given job losses.”