The News: Citi Cash Payouts Capped at $100,000; Mixed News on JPMorgan Pay

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The latest data points on bonus season: minimal cash for Citigroup employees, and a scaled-back fourth-quarter contribution to compensation at JPMorgan's investment bank.

Citing unnamed sources, Friday's Financial Times reports no banker at Citigroup will receive more than $100,000 in cash, and the company's overall bonus pool (consisting predominantly of restricted shares) would be near 2008's depressed level. "The move is aimed at defusing the public ire at Wall Street pay but could make it difficult for the US bank to retain its top talent," the paper observes. However, many Citi bankers and traders may already have braced for bad news in view of underperforming businesses and the government's continued ownership of close to 30 percent of the company's stock.

Meanwhile, JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s earnings announcement this morning shows the bank set aside $9.3 billion for compensation and benefits for all employees in its investment bank for all of 2009. That amounts to an average of $378,600 per head, or 37 percent above the comparable figure for 2008. But it's still 21 percent below the amount estimated by Macquarie analyst David Trone, and also falls short of the estimate by Ladenburg Thalmann analyst Brad Ball, according to Bloomberg News.

However, the New York Times report on JPMorgan earnings states a far smaller average pay figure for investment bankers there: $272,000.

A Wall Street Journal analysis published late Thursday, before the JPMorgan results came out, indicted total compensation for all employees at 38 of the largest financial companies was on pace to hit a record $145 billion for 2009. That would be about 18 percent above 2008 and slightly more than 2007, the previous record year. The WSJ based its report on banks' financial statements for the first nine months of 2009 and revenue estimates through year-end.

Citigroup Plans To Cap Cash Bonuses [FT]

JPMorgan Sets Aside $378,600 for Each Investment Bank Worker [Bloomberg News]

JPMorgan Profit Rises Again, but Clouds Linger [NY Times]

Banks Set for Record Pay [WSJ]

Webster Bank Announces Plans To Create 150 New Jobs; Schedules Job Fairs Across Four-State Region [Webster Financial Corp.]

Loss of Merrill Lynch Brokers Lower Than Expected, Says Krawcheck [Investment News]

At Calpers, a Revolving Door of Fees for Influence [WSJ]

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