Wall Street Pays Out 17% More in Bonuses in 2009

While Main Street Americans struggle just to get by, Wall Street employees saw their bonuses increase by 17% to collective $20.3 billion in 2009, according to an estimate released by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. He estimates total compensation at the largest securities firms grew even faster. Industry profits could exceed an unprecedented $55 billion in 2009, which is nearly three times greater than the previous all time records. But, there won't be cash bonuses for top executives at the top firms in 2009; instead they will receive stock options and other forms of deferred compensation.