'Am I the only one who winces every time I read in the press that the average bonus at the likes of Barclays, Goldman, JPMorgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, etc, is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars ?
Don't get me wrong, I do alright every year end (although I'd never admit that to the boss, of course), but my bonus never comes near the 'average' bonus figures that are spread around the press like confetti. And I spend a lot of time with colleagues after bonus advisory day swapping numbers too (even though we are sworn to secrecy, and are not supposed to reveal our bonus details on pain of death) - and none of my co-employees get anything like an 'average' bonus either. Which can only mean one things - the senior guys are creaming it!
Now that's no surprise, of course, but all this talk of 'average' bonuses tars most of us bankers with the same brush - we're all over-indulged, greedy fat-cats who deserve to be taxed out of existence and vilified by the general public. And all because the public has been conditioned to believe that we all receive 'average' bonuses which run into the hundreds of thousands! It's madness.
Having said that, it's difficult to complain too much these days - when you are actually in a job and getting paid a bonus (even if it is way below the 'average'). As one of my colleagues said to me recently: 'Our real bonus is that we still have a job'.