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Time to work 9-5?

Assuming you keep your job, bonuses this year will be significantly lower than last. Is it really worth killing yourself for a base salary?

Some people appear to have come to the conclusion that it isn’t.

“Spending time with the family is the new thing,” says one hedge fund manager. “It’s fine putting in all those hours when you’re going to make a fortune, but it’s a different issue when all you’ll get is your base pay.”

Bankers could easily come to the same conclusion. First-quarter results released by Goldman, Lehman and Morgan Stanley this week showed 35%, 26% and 15% reductions respectively in the amount of money set aside for compensation.

On the call accompanying the results announcement, Goldman CFO David Viniar reportedly pointed out that compensation accounts for a massive two thirds of the firm’s total costs, suggesting bonus pots will be the first to go if conditions worsen.

Would you work 15-hour days for base salary alone?

Comments (8)

  1. 15 hour days? Are you kidding? There’s barely enough going on to satisfy a couple of hours over coffee.

  2. Profits are down 70%, suggesting bonuses will be down at least as much. If 25% of staff are cut by the end of the year, part of the shortfall will be eliminated, but we can still expect something around a 50% reduction on last year’s figures.

  3. The two problems with doing 9-5 for the rest of the year (and I WISH!!), are:
    (1) missing out on any bonus there is
    (2) letting your prospects slide (bearing in mind there is still work to be done in some areas of finance)

  4. It is in times like these why being a corporate partner on 500k a year guranteed isn’t that bad after all. I won’t be getting sacked and my salary won’t be going down. :)

  5. Happy Lawyer – be assured – you will slide down with the rest of us..

  6. Agree with Happy Lawyer – law is the way forward!

  7. Lawyers will always make money, if the market goes bad we need the law, if the market is good we need the law. Its a win win situation!!

  8. It’s true, lawyers in general WILL always make money no matter what the markets do but the problem is you can only ever be one type of lawyer – transactional or litigious – so if / when the markets contract and everyone stops buying each other and starts suing each other it will only pay to be a litigator!

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