23 August 2007

Tighten your belts boys, we're just getting started


The credit-market freeze that's paralysing leveraged buyouts, mergers and myriad computer-driven trading strategies may cut Wall Street bonuses for the first time in 5 years.

Bonuses, the financial industry's annual rite of compensation typically calculated as a multiple of salary, probably will decline as much as 5% from 2006.

While the payouts often far exceeded the average of $220,650 at the biggest U.S. securities firms last year and increased as much as 20% from 2005, the subprime-mortgage collapse already has drained the punch bowl.

Hardest hit will be employees who create and sell securities backed by mortgages or pools of debt. One out of every three people in those roles may lose their jobs unless business picks up by the end of the year. Bonuses may fall as much as 40%

Basically, 2007 was going to be the best year ever, for just about everyone, and now, its going to suck. That's all you need to know.

Read more from The Post: HARD TIMES: The subprime meltdown is trickling down to traders and other staffers on Wall Street, who are likely to see annual bonuses slashed.

Read more from Gawker: The Rich Get Slightly Less Rich; Wall Street Bonuses To Decline Slightly

Second order of business,

No More First Class Flights For NY Times Magazine Staff

"This afternoon, a memo went out from New York Times Magazine head Gerald Marzorati. It seems that staffers and freelancers have been flying business and first class while on assignment. Clearly this cannot stand!

Although, why not?

The magazine and those money-minters T, Play, and Key are raking it in for the business.


The issue of T: Women coming out this Sunday is the biggest issue of a Times magazine since 1984.

183 pages of adverts! Surely that can pay for a flight or two to Milan!

No matter!

I guess they've gotta find some way to pay those juicy word count rates. Approval to fly business class will only be granted after being run past Times Managing Editor John Geddes or Assistant Managing Editor Bill Schmidt.

Got that?

Geez Louise.

The full memo follows...

"Greetings all,

I am writing to remind everyone of our policies regarding air travel.

We do not -- and I do not -- travel business class or first class on the company's dime. There have been a few recent violations and News Administration is not happy. Neither am I. We can all be spared some headaches if we follow the following steps, which apply to EVERYONE -- staffers as well as freelance writers and photographers.

First and foremost, coach is the way to go. If Dexter Filkins can fly to Baghdad in coach, we can get to Milan that way too -- at least if the Times is paying.

If an assigning editor does feel a trip warrants business-class travel, it must -- MUST -- be discussed with me. If I agree that the expense is necessary, I will ask approval for it from John Geddes or Bill Schmidt.

The flights that meet the criteria below should continue to be run past the managing editors of the appropriate magazine:

Approval is required for:
-- International flights
-- Tickets more than $1,000 per person
-- Bookings using mileage points, because this usually requires the purchase of a full coach fare

Also: everyone gravitates toward World Connections, but we've recently found examples where American Express cost less. When you're looking for airfares, make sure you also check with AMEX. When you submit a flight for approval, you must include the dates of trip, the issue the assignment is for, a price quote and, if it is a non-AMEX flight, what AMEX would charge.


Dentists office or First Class or both?

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