Wall Street's Beginning to Look Like Christmas

Investment banks are estimating this year's bonus packages, and staffers should be starting the New Year with a bang

Still more Porsches may be rumbling along Wall Street in coming months as free-spending traders and investment bankers get ready for the yearend bonuses that should follow their firms' surprisingly strong financial performances. Helped by modest third-quarter gains, Goldman Sachs Group (GS), for instance, has toted up $13.9 billion in compensation expenses in the first nine months of this year, up 50% from last year's payout. Likewise, far smaller Lehman Brothers Holdings (LEH) reported on Sept. 13 that its compensation tab for the period totals $6.4 billion, up $1 billion from the same stretch last year.

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