Whatever You Heard About Bank of America’s Huge-Ass Bonuses Is Wrong


Bonuses for some investment bankers at Bank of America are likely to be close to their boomin’$2 2007 levels, The Wall Street Journal reports today, citing sources at the company. But Robert Stickler, a spokesperson for the company, begs to differ. Sort of: “No one should make assumptions about amounts,” he told the paper.

Any generalities about levels of salaries are inaccurate to the extent that we pay individuals based on their own performance, the performance of their unit and the performance of their company.”

Right. It’s all based on the individual, you see. For instance, some individuals performed way better this year than last year, like Lisa Carnoy, for starters, and therefore will be receiving the sort of face-meltingly large bonuses they could only dream of back in 2007. Some people, like outgoing CEO Ken Lewis, had to give up their entire pay just to avoid getting scalped. That throws off the average, too. And then there’s all of the other individuals who might have taken home, say, $500,000 in 2007, and this year are taking home a mere $499,000 because of “the recession,” or $499,114 because the head of their unit is capricious and a little bit eccentric. I mean, there’s really no way you or anyone or even Robert Stickler can know because everyone is different, but any way you slice it, saying “2007 level” is wrong. Sort of.