Pay on Wall Street is on pace to break a record high once again, according to a study conducted by the Wall Street Journal.
About three dozen of the top publicly held securities and investment-services firms, the Journal says, are set to pay $144 billion in compensation and benefits this year, a 4% increase from the $139 billion paid out in 2009.
But rising compensation is accompanied by rising revenues and profits, too. According to the study, Wall Street revenue is expected to rise 3%, to $448 billion from $433 billion while profits are expected to increase to $61.3 billion for the firms surveyed, which still falls about 20% short from the record 2006 levels of $82 billion.
"The pay numbers show that firms, benefiting from low interest rates and strong international markets, continue to base their pay on economic and market conditions rather than the level of pressure coming from regulators in Washington and overseas," the Journal reports.