Compensation - Going Up?

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With both trading profit and underwriting business rebounding in many markets, the newspapers are rife with stories about the return of boom-era paydays.

Goldman allocated $11.36 billion for compensation and benefits expense in the first six months of 2009. That figure, which averages $386,000 per employee, stands higher than it did at the halfway mark in 2006 or 2007.

Even banks still on a government lifeline, including Citigroup, Bank of America and RBS, reportedly have dangled multi-million dollar guaranteed packages this year to recruit or retain one rainmaker or another.

What about where you work? Are you optimistic that your personal take at year-end will be close to, or even more than, what you earned in 2007 (or would have earned in 2007 if your role and experience level had been what they are now)?

Or, is the media drawing overly broad conclusions based on the success of just a few top-performing individuals and institutions?