Friday, January 22, 2010


BANZAI7 NEWS--With all eyes on banks and their bonus pools, there is the question of what happens to the bonus money the bankers receive this year. Will they return to flashy spending or invest it more conservatively?

The NYT reports, in past years, the cliché image of bonus season was of a flush banker walking into a Ferrari dealership and driving out in his new toy. That type of spending will be more the exception than the rule this year, advisers said, for two reasons — neither of which has to do with public perception. The first is the need to have cash on hand to cover basic expenses,  such as a 24 hour armed guard, Moola the fortune teller, call girl fees, body hair groomers and beer.

The second reason is the uncertainty of bankers over how much of their bonuses they will actually get, and when they will get it. Because most banks have tried to head off criticism of the size of their compensation packages, they have chosen this year to split the bonuses between cash and restricted stock. As we all know, cash is king while share value can be here today and gone tomorrow.

Bankers may have to make due with their current set of wheels.

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