Wall Street Pay Plummets; Wall Streeters Do Not

Weep, weep children, for surely now we are in the darkest of hours. Wall Street pay suffered its worst decline in modern history last year. Is this not a "wake-up call," America?

According to David Belkin, an economist with the city's Independent Budget Office, the average worker in New York City's securities industry was paid $311,279 in 2009 in salary, bonuses and exercised stock options. While that is still an enormous sum to most people, it represented a cut of about $85,000 from the average annual wages in that sector in 2008, Mr. Belkin calculated, adjusting for inflation.

So the most severe financial calamity since the Great Depression knocked 20% off the average JPMorgan drone's take-home pay. Yet somehow Wall Street has managed to avoid being bombarded by the falling bodies of distraught investment bankers. Take this as a lesson, Main Street.