Jamie Dimon seems to be having second thoughts about trying to stave off staff depression by paying reasonable bonuses.
According to CNBC, MDs at JPMorgan have been told they're in line for a 30-50% cut in bonus.
It could be that Dimon is planning to direct bonuses at top performers and lucky people further down the hierarchy. Average compensation per head at the investment bank fell 'only' 18% in the first nine months of 2008 against the same period of 2007, to $211k.
Despite doing relatively well this year, there are signs that even JPMorgan is struggling to maintain payouts. The bank cut more than 6,000 staff between the second and third quarters of 2008, but compensation is up from 42% of revenues in Q307 to 54% of revenues now.
This is, however, not too onerous compared to Merrill Lynch where, as DealBook pointed out yesterday, compensation expenses as a proportion of net revenues now stand at 1,300%.