A Question About Bonuses and Bailouts
I was reading this Megan McArdle post about the federal government restricting bonuses to AIG employees. As I was reading, I came across this sentence:
To wit: the traders at AIG are threatening to walk if Ken Feinberg pays them what he says he’s going to pay them, particularly if the company tries too hard to withhold the retention bonuses they were promised in order to stay on board and clean up the mess.
One of the common criticisms about the federal government intervening in the payment of bonuses to employees of bailed-out firms is that if those employees don’t get those bonuses, they’ll leave and go elsewhere.
I have a question about this, and I mean this with all sincerity: where will they go to work? Is there a lot of demand for trading jobs right now? I would think that from the general state of the economy, the answers to the above questions are pretty much “nowhere” and “no.” But I can’t find any data one way or the other.
If there isn’t much demand for traders at the moment, then is retention of those traders that big of a concern? After all, if there’s not much demand, there’s probably people who would take any job, even with income restrictions, because $500,000 a year is a lot better than $0 a year.
Does anybody out there know the state of the job market for traders right now?