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The rocket science of partying

While many bankers are tightening their belts in the expectation of tiny Christmas bonuses, some are still merrily living it up. One trader flew the flag recently by hiring out the Café de Paris for his birthday bash (house champagne: £350 a bottle).

Unsurprisingly, the banker in question was from structured credit. The rocket scientists have enjoyed a particularly good year, with growth in credit derivatives, CDOs and exotic bonds continuing despite the general slump.

So bonuses in structured credit are set to be larger than anyone else's stocking-fillers. According to investment banking recruitment firm Sheffield Haworth, a junior CDO structurer from a tier-one bank can expect a bonus of $450,000, while a mid-level structurer could land $1.2 million. But even they pale in comparison to exotic derivatives structurers, who could make as much as $1.5 million.

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