As one of the only banks on Wall Street to scrape a profit for 2008, JPMorgan has reason to feel proud of itself. And even though its investment bank didn't exactly contribute to that achievement, with a $1.2bn loss, early indications are that its investment banking bonuses won't be bad at all.
Staff at JPMorgan are due to be told their numbers this week. MDs have already been warned that their bonuses stand to fall by 30-50%, but the bank's fourth quarter results suggest the average payout will diminish by considerably less.
Compensation expenditure at the investment bank was $7.7bn in 2008, down just 3% on 2007. Combined with rising headcount following the Bear Stearns acquisition, this led to a 13% reduction in average compensation per head, to $276k.
By comparison, at Goldman and Morgan Stanley compensation per head fell 54% and 52% respectively.
For the first time (ever?), investment bankers at JPMorgan appear to have earned more than their counterparts at Morgan Stanley last year - the average salary and bonus at the house of Mack was just $262k.