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Wall Street Bonuses Will Be Flat This Year

AP Photo/Richard Drew

A new survey finds that Wall Street bonuses this year will be flat despite strong gains in the stock market.

This comes as hundreds of new rules take effect pushing the industry away from making risky bets.

In the past those risky bets led to big profits and big bonuses. But the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act introduced rules requiring banks to keep more cash on hand and curb the kinds of complicated trading that led to the financial collapse in 2008.

This means stock and bond traders at banks and hedge funds are making less profit and will get smaller bonuses. That's according to a compensation survey by Alan Johnson.

"The analogy I use is the regulators don't want you to jump as high and what they do is put a lead weight on your back so you can jump as high as you want, but you still have to get over the lead weight," Johnson said.

But some in the financial sector will see their pay increase, mostly those who manage financial portfolios and have more direct contact with investors.   

Charles is senior reporter focusing on special projects. He has won numerous awards including an IRE award, three SPJ Public Service Awards, and a National Murrow. He was also a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists and Third Coast Director’s Choice Award.
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