Even though Wall Street has been occupied for the better part of the past month, the bankers who work there have every reason to be cheery. It turns out that Wall Street bankers make more than five and a half times as much as other private workers in New York City. At more than $300,000 a year, their salaries have gone up 16.1% in the past year, according to a new report by the New York State Comptroller Office.
One might think that with all that good news, they’d pop open some extraordinarily expensive champagne or engage in other expensive popular banker behaviors. But no, instead they decided to complain that they aren’t making enough money.
In a new series of interviews edited by Bloomberg, bankers vent their frustrations with the stagnant economy and having to accept “recalibrated” salaries to reflect reduced revenue. According to the article, Michael Karp, a Wall Street recruiter:
said he met last month over tea at the Gramercy Park Hotel in New York with a trader who made $500,000 last year at one of the six largest U.S. banks.
The trader, a 27-year-old Ivy League graduate, complained that he has worked harder this year and will be paid less. The headhunter told him to stay put and collect his bonus.
“This is very demoralizing to people,” Karp said. “Especially young guys who have gone to college and wanted to come onto the Street, having dreams of becoming millionaires.”
Oh, woe to all of the poor Ivy League graduates who wanted to become millionaires, but, because of the economy, have to settle to making a mere five and a half times everyone else.
That kind of clueless thinking is exactly what is motivating the Occupy Wall Street Protests: as the poverty rate rises, incomes continue to fall and the GOP blocks any kind of help, all that bankers can think about is whether or not they’re going to get as big a bonus as last year. It’s time for Americans to stand against the rampant greed and manipulation happening on Wall Street and demand that the government stand with its people instead of just its banks.
Then again, if they didn’t want to have to endure a slump, they probably shouldn’t have wrecked the economy in the first place.
Photo credit: david_shankbone's Flickr stream.