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It’s still a good time to work on Wall Street, if you can keep the job

Despite pockets of hiring, Wall Street continues to hemorrhage jobs. But on the plus side, those who remain employed at New York banks still get paid handsomely.

Over the 12 months ending in August, New York’s securities industry lost 2,600 jobs, according to New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. Wall Street has now lost 10,500 jobs over the last three years.

However, the average salary is holding strong at roughly $360,000 – in line with last year. Additionally, DiNapoli surmises that banker bonuses will rise in 2014, although that has more to do with the manner in which many securities employees are now paid. DiNapoli looks only at taxable income, meaning he’s including deferred bonuses that just vested. So while bankers are cashing bigger checks, much of the money was earned years ago.

Likely, promised bonuses will remain flat or slightly down when looking at the industry holistically. Wall Street generated 13% less profit during the first half of the year, according to the report, mostly due to costly legal settlements stemming from the financial crisis.

Investment bankers are having a good year, though. Powered by strong M&A and equity underwriting performances, investment banking revenue at the five largest U.S. banks was up 9% during the first half of the year. Unfortunately, fixed income and equity traders offset those gains, posting a 10% decline in revenue over the first six months of the year.

Despite its failings, Wall Street still pays a great wage, particularly when compared to what others make in New York City. The securities industry accounted for 20% of the city’s private sector wages in 2013 while employing less than 5% of all New Yorkers. The average banker takes home five times the average salary of all other city employees.

Hiring Roundup (eFinancialCareers)

In this week’s hiring roundup, RBC is adding senior investment bankers in the U.S., a new debt team launches in the U.K. and one of the Big Four announces huge hiring plans.

The Perfect Cover Letter (eFinancialCareers)

Here’s a step-by-step guide to building the perfect cover letter for any job on Wall Street.

Libor Claiming More Victims (WSJ)

A “senior banker from a leading British bank” pleaded guilty to fraud charges last week as part of the ongoing investigation into the alleged manipulation of interest rate benchmarks. Two senior Dutch currency traders were also suspended and now Deutsche Bank may be pushed to plead guilty in the U.S. over rate rigging.

Goldman Bankers Threatened (Bloomberg)

Back in 2008, a Libya Investment Authority executive cursed out two Goldman Sachs bankers and threatened their families in an angry tirade concerning the sovereign wealth fund’s investments, according to yesterday’s court testimony. LIA sued Goldman for allegedly mishandling its investments.

More Than Just a Name Change (Bloomberg)

Steven Cohen is breaking up his hedge fund into seven different units that will each have officers overseeing compliance, risk and research. It’s an effort to improve accountability at Point72 Asset Management, which was a haven for insider trading when it was known as SAC Capital.

Harvard Or Bust (New Yorker)

Meanwhile, here’s a long but interesting look at the culture of SAC Capital, including an anecdote on Matthew Martoma, a convicted insider trader who famously fainted on his own lawn when FBI agents confronted him back in 2011. It turns out Martoma passed out only after one agent told his wife that he faked his transcript and was expelled from Harvard Law, not that he made millions from inside information.

Avoiding the SEC (Bloomberg)

The SEC may offer massive whistleblower awards to people who rat on their employers, but few people with information utilize the program. Instead, they go to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who acts faster and is more successful in going after Wall Street firms.

Buzz Around the Office

Family Cooking (Gawker)

A mother and son were arrested on drug charges after butt-dialing 911 while cooking meth. The call stayed connected for a full 30 minutes while police tracked them down.

Quote of the Day: “When Martoma’s father first came to America, he was admitted to M.I.T., but he could not afford to attend. He retained a fascination with Cambridge, however, and prayed daily that his oldest son would go to Harvard. Martoma graduated from high school as co-valedictorian, but he ended up going to Duke. Shortly after Mathew’s eighteenth birthday, Bobby presented him with a plaque inscribed with the words ‘Son Who Shattered His Father’s Dream.’” – New Yorker reporter Patrick Radden Keefe on former SAC Capital trader Mathew Martoma’s childhood

AUTHORBeecher Tuttle US Editor

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