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FX comment: Three stories of FX bonuses

In the FX market, both 2008 and 2009 are generally reckoned to have been bad years to have a good year. Was 2010 any better?

Last year, with budgets having been ramped, volumes generally a little off the boil and spreads narrowing, few participants are claiming that 2010 was wonderful.

theweeklyFiX had the impression that good performers would receive most of the available pool and that under-achievers would have to be content with improved basic salaries. This seems to have been right if the whispers we’ve heard from the direction of Bank of America Merrill Lynch are correct. One comment was that expectations had been well managed by senior staff and that the general view was “salaries are up, bonuses generally down. The cash/equity ratio looks fair, but depends, as it should, on the size of the bonus, and deferred for three years as expected, unlike those poor folk at CS.”

Yes, Credit Suisse’s desire to prove its probity by unilaterally deferring bonuses for four years rather than three may have got some good press but is said to have irked staff more than a little.

Folk at JPMorgan Chase are being tight-lipped about the bonus situation; the only comment we could elicit was that “it would be fair to say that there are more smiles than grimaces around here.”

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