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Wall Street. Photo: <a href="">jpellgen</a>, CC <a href="">some rights reserved</a>
Wall Street. Photo: jpellgen, CC some rights reserved

NY comptroller sees mixed year on Wall Street

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Profits on Wall Street are going to be up this year, according to a new report from New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. But he says they're still below their pre-recession highs.

The report also finds fewer job losses in the securities industry, but still many economic uncertainties ahead.

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Reported by

Karen DeWitt
NYS Capitol Correspondent

DiNapoli projects that the New York City-based securities industry will earn $15 billion in 2012. That’s nearly double last year’s profits, but still below the rates in the boom years before the 2008 market crash.

It's hard to predict what the new normal is going to be.
DiNapoli says the stock market, as well as the nation’s economy, faces numerous uncertainties, including the ongoing European debt crisis as well as the so-called "fiscal cliff" in the federal budget that the president and congress have set up to occur at the end of this year, when they must make some tough spending and taxing decisions.

"Wall Street is still a business sector in transition,", says DiNapoli, who says news on jobs is also mixed. Fewer people on Wall Street lost their jobs than had been expected—but there are 1200 fewer positions now than in 2011. The average salary of those employed by the securities industry rose to around $363,000.

DiNapoli says hate it or love it, for every job created on Wall Street, two other jobs are created in New York City, and one job is created outside of the City, and "over time that does have an impact on other sectors of the economy."

The higher-than-average Wall Street salaries, as well the annual cash bonuses, are taxed at a high rate in New York, and help to balance the state’s budget. Before the recession, Wall Street revenues made up 20 percent of the state’s total tax collections. DiNapoli says the ongoing economic slump and continued downsizing in the securities industry means that Wall Street revenues account for just 14 percent of the budget now.

The Comptroller says in the past, it’s been Wall Street that has led the way in economic recoveries, providing more jobs at higher rates of pay, and circulating that money through the economy. But he says this time, the recovery is being driven by other industries that offer lower rates of pay. And he says it's "hard to predict what the new normal is going to be."

The Comptroller says he expects year-end cash bonuses to be lower as well, continuing a trend that began after the 2008 crash, as profits have declined and more employees are offered stocks as a bonus instead of money.



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