Wall Street shouldn't have much to grumble about: Total pay at publicly traded banks and securities hit a new high of $135 billion last year, reports the Wall Street Journal. That's up 5.7% from 2009 figures. "Things are shifting back to where they were before," says a law professor. Skyrocketing revenues—a record $417 billion at 25 large financial firms that have shared year-end results—drove the increase.
The Journal notes some remaining caution left over from the financial crisis nudged the figures higher, too: About half of total pay was deferred in order to reward long-term results, up from about a third the year prior. And many firms boosted base salaries toward the same end.