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DiNapoli: Wall Street 2010 Bonuses Estimated At $20.8 Billion

ALBANY, N.Y. (WCBS 880/AP) -- New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said Wednesday Wall Street bonuses remained relatively flat at $20.8 billion in 2010, the first full year after the national recession officially ended.

The estimate of cash bonuses to New York City securities industry employees is down from what was actually paid in 2009. But it is $500 million more than DiNapoli's bonus estimate a year ago.

It's about one-third less than the 2007 bonuses before the financial crisis.

"I think the industry is responding to the enhanced accountability, transparency," DiNapoli told WCBS 880 on Wednesday.

DiNapoli also said the number reflects an industry shift toward deferred compensation and higher base salaries.

"They are putting more of a premium on sustainable profitability and not the kind of rewarding of the risky behavior," he said.

The comptroller's report says Wall Street profits totaled $27.6 billion in 2010, second only to 2009 when the industry benefited from massive federal bailouts and low interest rates.

In 2008, Wall Street firms gave out $17.4 billion in bonuses.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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