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The Wall Street gurus who presided over the subprime mortgage crisis currently shredding global sharemarkets have awarded themselves bonuses totalling $US33.2 billion ($38 billion).
In a concession to the crisis - which has forced America's largest banks to write off billions in bad investments and raise billions more to shore up their capital reserves - the bonuses were down nearly 5 per cent on the previous year.
The average bonus of $US180,420 ($206,088) in 2007 dipped 4.7 per cent from the previous year, New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said in a statement today.
The securities industry rewarded $US33.2 billion in bonuses to its New York City employees, two per cent less than the record $US33.9 billion ($38.7 billion) in 2006, he said.
The numbers are taken from the seven largest financial firms headquartered in New York City, which are tracked by the comptroller's office. The firms are Citigroup, Merrill Lynch, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Bear Stearns, Morgan Stanley and Lehman Brothers.
All except Goldman Sachs