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State Comptroller: Wall Street Bonuses Grew By 15 Percent

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It was another good year on Wall Street, according to state comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, whose new report finds that Wall Street bonuses grew by 15 percent last year, reaching their highest levels since the 2008 financial crisis, and DiNapoli says that that's good news for ordinary New Yorkers, as well as Mayor Bill de Blasio. NY1's Bobby Cuza filed the following report.

If you're looking for indicators that Wall Street has bounced back from the financial crisis, bonuses might be a good place to start.

In his annual report on the subject, State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said that the bonus pool for Wall Street employees in the city was almost $27 billion last year. That works out to an average bonus of nearly $165,000, up 15 percent from 2012.

"When you hear some of those numbers, for many, you're going to say, 'Wow! That's an awful lot of money,'" DiNapoli said.

DiNapoli said that the picture is clouded by the fact that those figures increasingly include money deferred from prior years. Regardless, he told an audience of business and civic leaders Wednesday that it's important for all of us that Wall Street be healthy and profitable, noting that the industry accounts for more than 8 percent of city tax revenues and 16 percent of state tax revenue.

"For every job created on Wall Street, we project two other jobs are created in other parts of the city's economy, and that's because folks at the higher end are spending money," DiNapoli said.

DiNapoli, however, acknowledged that job growth has, in fact, been weak on Wall Street, which accounts for just 1 percent of the private-sector jobs created during the city's recovery, and which still employs fewer workers than it did before the crisis.

Still, the uptick in Wall Street bonuses is not just good news for those receiving them. It could also mean an unexpected windfall for the de Blasio administration, as city budget projections had assumed a slight decline in the bonus pool.

"With the numbers that we're projecting, I'm estimating that the city could realize an additional $100 million in tax revenue in the current fiscal year that had not been anticipated," DiNapoli said.

You might call it a little bonus for the new administration.

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