New York Times: Ailing Banks Favor Salaries over Shareholders

The New York Times points out the discrepancy between what banks pay in salary vs. what they produce for their shareholders in this article. Here are excerpts (emphasis ours):

Finding the winners on Wall Street is usually as simple as looking at pay. Rarely are bankers who lose money paid as generously as those who make it.

But this year is unusual, Eric Dash reports in The New York Times. A handful of big banks that are struggling in the postbailout world are, by some measures, the industry’s most magnanimous employers. Roughly 90 cents out of every dollar that these banks earned in 2009 — and sometimes more — is going toward employee salaries, bonuses and benefits, according to company filings.

Even now, after all those big bonus numbers, the pay-to-profit ratio for the financial industry might come as a surprise to many people.  The five largest banks on Wall Street — Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley — earned a combined  147.4 billion before paying compensation and taxes last year. They plowed back a combined $31.2 billion into their companies and  returned a total of $2.1 billion to shareholders in the form of  dividends. They paid $114.1 billion to their employees.

Read the full article.