Wall Street is set to break the compensation records it set just last year, the Wall Street Journal reports. In a survey of 35 publicly traded securities and investment-services firms, 26 were expected to boost compensation, bringing total pay up to $144 billion—up 4% from last year’s $139 billion. Revenue was set to rise at 29 firms, but at a slower rate than pay. At Goldman Sachs, revenue actually fell 13.5%, but pay will be up 3.7%
“Until focus of these institutions changes from revenue generation to long-term shareholder value, we will see these outrageous pay packages and compensation levels,” says the director of the Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance. Political pressure has, however, managed to change the shape of this compensation, which is now more likely to be issued in the form of stock or other deferred instruments. And coming regulations about how much capital banks must hold could rein in the escalating pay checks.