Wall Street blowout helps New York bounce back

A street sign is seen in front of the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street in New York, February 10, 2009. REUTERS/Eric Thayer/

LONDON, March 23 (Reuters Breakingviews) - Bonuses in New York City’s securities industry soared 20% to a record $257,500 per employee for 2021, according to New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli on Wednesday. It’s no secret that Wall Street was in a sweet spot read more . While 2020 was already a record, last year’s per-head figure and total bonus pool of $45 billion leaves the 2006 high point of the previous boom far behind.

The momentum may not endure into 2022, but that’s hardly a reason for hand-wringing. After all, the Institute for Policy Studies think tank notes that if the U.S. federal minimum wage had increased in line with Wall Street bonuses since 1985, it would be worth $61.75 per hour now, against the actual ludicrously low $7.25.

Even so, the post-Covid-19 rebound in pay for financiers reflects a welcome bounce in the Big Apple’s fortunes. It will even reinforce the recovery, with the securities industry accounting for an estimated 7% of the city’s tax collections in the current fiscal year, according to DiNapoli, and a bigger slice of the Empire State’s. (By Richard Beales)

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(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are their own.)

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Editing by Peter Thal Larsen and Pranav Kiran

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