Conclusive proof that big bonuses were an aberration

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For anyone still living under the delusion that bonuses paid in 2006 and 2007 were even vaguely normal, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) has produced some figures showing that they were, in fact, hideous mutants.

The ONS has only been assimilating figures for total UK financial services bonuses since 2001. Even so, the fluctuations are huge:

2001: 6.5bn

2002: 6bn

2003: 5.5bn

2004: 7.5bn

2005: 9bn

2006: 11bn

2007: 16bn

2008: 16bn

With a mean of 9.6bn, the payouts of 2007 and 2008 were 65% above the norm for the past eight years. And given that most of the past eight years - with the exception of 2002 and 2003 - weren't too bad for banking, the mean itself may be an aberration. It would be no surprise if the UK's bonus pool is a third of last year's amount for the foreseeable future.