Pity the Yanks

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The dollar's sliding, they look like bearing the brunt of redundancies, and now their bonuses are likely to be hit disproportionately too.

It's not the best of times to be cruising Wall Street in search of a job. A report two months ago by US outplacement consultant Challenger Gray & Christmas, found banking job cuts across the Atlantic in the nine months to September were even worse than in 2001 - at 116,515 (to be precise).

Since then things have gone so far down the pan that the U-bend is a mere memory. And come bonus time, they're liable to sink lower still.

Predictions by search firm Options Group suggest US bankers are likely to see their bonuses fall 10-15% this year, compared 5-10% for their buddies in Europe, and an increase of 0-5% in Asia.

This is the third year running that Options has predicted US bankers will do less well than their global counterparts. Business patterns are changing and banks like Goldman now make more than 50% of their revenues in the US and Europe, while Bar Cap says business in Asia is up 80% ytd.

Unsurprisingly, after all these years of lagging behind, US bankers are relatively impoverished. It might be cheaper to live in New York, but at current exchange rates our US site says (in a round about way) that first-year quant associates are now earning around 60% more in London.

This doesn't mean US bankers are rushing to fill the seats in Canary Wharf. John Burr, consultant at Principal Search, which has offices in New York and London, says most US bankers would prefer to go to emerging markets: "If they're going to relocate it's more likely to be to Asia or the Middle East."

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