Wednesday's headlines: Is today's banker pay worth the effort?

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Gone are the days when all the horrendous hours would pay off and an investment banker could retire in his or her 40s. A Wall Street Journal column examines investment bankers' shrinking pay packages, which have dropped to an average of $1.6 million for a mid-career banker - the after-tax cash portion of which is about $380,000. This is nearly half of the $2.2 million average of just two years ago when the same bankers would take home about $700,000 cash.

The culprit is not regulation, but rather shrinking bank profits. "The long-term deferred-compensation packages are chilling the banker labor market, because unvested shares disappear when a banker switches jobs," the column says.

Other news:

Morgan Stanley is tapping the bond market for $4.5 billion as derivatives show traders perceive it to be the riskiest of Wall Street's six biggest banks. [Businessweek]

Barclays looks to sell its foreclosed U.S. commercial real-estate loans and properties which had an original $900 million value. [WSJ]

Barclays and Credit Suisse reported lower first-quarter profits on investment banking. [Bloomberg]

Both Nasdaq and Deutsche Börse promise to keep the trading floor open if a merger goes through. [DealBook]

The six largest U.S. banks reported the steepest percentage drop in quarterly revenue in three years, yet investor demand for shares is up. [Bloomberg]

Day traders pile in on silver streak. [WSJ]

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