Most people at banks that have already announced bonuses (Goldman, Morgan Stanley, Merrill/BofA, Dresdner K etc.) are getting at least something for 2008 - even if it is 70% down on 2007. However, zero bonuses do exist. Their unfortunate recipients are rumoured to include:
- As many as 20% of executive directors, managing directors, partner managing directors in investment banking at Goldman Sachs.
- A 'high proportion' of markets staff in both equities and fixed income at Morgan Stanley.
- Fixed income bankers at Merrill Lynch.
By comparison, equities bankers seem to have been paid - two leading headhunters in cash equities told us they haven't come across anyone with a zero yet.
Meanwhile, Dresdner Kleinwort, which is being absorbed into Commerzbank, is said to have told bankers their bonus numbers, with the caveat that payouts will be reduced if there are any further writedowns between now and the payment date. A spokesperson for Dresdner K declined to comment.
The head of financial services at one international headhunter says a higher incidence of absolutely-nothing-in-the-way-of-bonuses is expected at the likes of Citigroup and Deutsche, which have yet to announce.
Vikram Pandit has already indicated that bonuses will be pants "dramatically lower" than last year at Citigroup. And Deutsche simply hasn't cut that many staff yet (although our analysis earlier this week suggested it didn't add as many people as other banks during the good times, and therefore may not need to remove quite as many people as its peers).