Bankers worldwide are bracing for bonuses to be down about 7% from a year ago, according to a Reuters/IFR global poll of over 25 professionals. And this year's higher salaries will only partially cushion the blow -- a blow many unemployed, underemployed, or those earning far less would happily accept this holiday season.

Reuters explains that unlike other professionals, bankers typically rely on year-end bonuses for a large portion of their yearly compensation, which can typically account for about 80% of top-level employees' pay. This year, they've been told to expect a low payout because weak trading results are depressing bank profits and shrinking the bonus pool.

Last year, when banks still enjoyed the trillions of bailout dollars governments threw at them during the financial crisis, Wall Street bonuses jumped 17% on average, according to a report by New York State's comptroller.

In response, the European Union has limited how much upfront cash bankers can be awarded to as little as 20% of their bonus. In the U.S., lawmakers are considering whether to require banks to hold onto a chunk of executive pay, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The Reuters poll also pointed to higher payouts in Asia, where business is booming, and to flat-to-smaller bonus pools in Europe. In general, however, those working in mergers and acquisitions, where volumes have risen this year, are expecting much higher bonuses.

Still, bankers will be hard pressed to find much sympathy as their base salaries were boosted this year to compensate for the lower bonuses and, possibly, to make them less bonus-focused, reckless risk-takers. In some cases base salaries were even doubled.

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Osayomwanbor

tthhhhhhyiouhfkyub tyuijv

December 23 2010 at 1:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mjohn67610

I hope these sleezeballs can sleep. The banking industry hierarchy are the most selfish people in the world. They have taken a respected profession, to one that ranks below a pimp or drug dealer. Bonuses for what ? Leading us into the toilet which we may never get out of in my grandchildren's lifetime. I hope they burn in hell. These are the biggest leaches in today's American society. Wake up America, boycott banks and hit your local credit union-honest people who got no bail-out $ and are honest. Let these bastards go the way of the do-do bird !

December 22 2010 at 8:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
schaferkkk

YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME. wE ARE TALKING ABOUT PEOPLE MAKING SIX AND SEVEN FIGURE SALARIES!! DUE TO BEING DISABLED, MY DISABILITY PAYMENT HAS NOT INCREASED SINCE STARTING IN 1992. IF THEY WANT TO KNOW HOW TO LIVE THRU THAT, I WOULD BE HAPPY TO EXPLAIN THE DETAILS...........

December 22 2010 at 2:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jkennedy806

If con is the opposite of Pro than what is the opposite of Progress

December 22 2010 at 1:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
RonRuthNik

Awwwwwwwwwwww, I'm so heartbroken for them!

December 22 2010 at 1:08 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
bfpowersjr

Ms. Alazraki: I certainly agree with the tenor of your article.

December 22 2010 at 12:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rt66007

BBOOO HOOO my bonus is down 100% to zero this year

December 22 2010 at 12:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David

They ought not get any bonuses!!!!

December 22 2010 at 11:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to David's comment
jkennedy806

I agree, and I also agree with the J & J stockholders who in NJ fed court asked the Judge to limit or take back the top executives and board of directors bonus payout for toxic dervative investments, mismanagement of a top world class company and all the recalls. I think 2012 should be the year the American taxpayer takes back the country from these bankster, corporate elitests and the dim wits in Washington Oh the latest from our bufoons at the CIA. It's all over the global papers The CIA has a new task force to investigate WikiLeaks it's WTF (WikiLeaks Task Force) I kid you not people sometimes I wonder if teenagers are running DC -- with the whining and crying, and name calling and gossip, and power plays, the if you do this I'll do that -- GROW UP Lame brains -- I want a job for Christmas

December 22 2010 at 1:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Hi Gram, Ty&Dill

Awwww, I feel so bad for them. Thier bonuses are probably more than I've made in the last 10-20 years. And really, what do they do to EARN it? I wonder how much of thier bonuses they donate this time of year? These are the types that walk past the bellringers in thier $1000 suits and don't give it a second thought. Blessings to All, yes, even the wealthy.

December 22 2010 at 11:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply