Wall Street bonuses top $20bn

Despite calls for restraint in multi-million dollar pay packages, Wall Street bonuses jumped by 17% to $20.3bn (£13bn) for 2009 as America’s financial services industry rebounded swiftly from the credit crunch to healthy profitability, according to New York’s tax department.

New York state’s comptroller, Thomas DiNapoli, said the average taxable bonus on Wall Street was $123,850, a figure he described as a “bitter pill” for many people still struggling with record unemployment and ongoing economic weakness on the high street.

Bonuses at banks, fund management firms and stockbrokers are a crucial element in New York’s income tax revenue and the state keeps a careful tally of each year’s projected payout on Wall Street.

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