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Wall Street Pay Will Rise If Romney Wins, Wall Street Workers Say

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If money is important to people on Wall Street, and it is, then many in the finance industry will be hoping for a Mitt Romney victory come Tuesday night.

Of the nearly 60 percent of Wall Street workers that believe the election will have an impact on their compensation, 72 percent say a Romney win would be positive for their paycheck, according to a recent survey by eFinancialCareers. About the same share of finance industry workers say that President Obama’s reelection would have a negative impact on their pay.

Wall Street pay has been a topic of controversy in the wake of the financial crisis, with Obama deriding “fat cat” bankers and many firms shifting their compensation structures and trimming pay in recent years. Even some in the industry have criticized financial industry compensation; Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman said last month that Wall Street pay is "way too high" for example.

Complaining CEOs and all, Wall Street pay still rose last year to its highest level since before the financial crisis, according to The New York Times. It’s expected to go up this year too, according to a survey by Johnson Associates, cited by the Wall Street Journal. Cash and stock awards may increase by up to 10 percent, but they may come with more strings attached, the survey found.

That boost in pay comes at the same time Wall Street is making cuts elsewhere. UBS announced last week that it would be cutting 10,000 investment bankers or nearly 15 percent of its workforce. Though the slashing may seem extreme, other banks have made smaller cuts in similar units.

It seems Wall Street workers believe a Romney win may be able to change this environment. Eight out of the top ten firms with employees donating money to support Romney are big banks, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

(Hat tip: Bloomberg, ThinkProgress)

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