US Banks Paid Employees Record $145B in 2009
Haul breaks mark set in pre-bust 2007
By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 14, 2010 9:41 PM CST
From left, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein; JPMorgan Chase CEO James Dimon; Morgan Stanley Chairman John Mack, and Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – Employees at the major US banks were paid about $145 billion in 2009—a total that, despite the financial crisis and public outcry over compensation in the industry—breaks a record set in pre-bust 2007. A Wall Street Journal analysis finds that 2009 revenue will be $450 billion, up 25% from ’07; pay should be about 32% of revenue, down from 40% in ’08.

“The companies have done well since the meltdown,” one lawyer says of the likes of Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, JP Morgan and Wells Fargo. And though “some of it has to do with government assistance,” he adds. “You can't just say, ‘There is a lot of populist anger out there, so we are not going to compensate our executives who have worked hard to recover some shareholder value.’”