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Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase are preparing to pay out bumper bonuses to their investment bankers following a record year for deal activity on Wall Street.
Goldman is considering increasing its bonus pool by about 40-50 per cent compared with the previous year, while at JPMorgan the pool could be as much as 40 per cent larger, according to people briefed on the matter.
Investment banks have generated record fees this year thanks to a rush of dealmaking. The value of US deals in the first 11 months of 2021 totalled $2.3tn, according to Refinitiv data.
Goldman and JPMorgan have taken in more investment banking fees than any other bank, according to their financial statements. Investment banking fees come from advising on corporate mergers and acquisitions, private equity buyouts, public listings and debt offerings.
The final size of the banks’ bonus pools is still being decided and has yet to be communicated to staff. Bonuses are usually paid in the new year.
Do you work in investment banking? How has this year been for you? Email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading FirstFT Americas. Here’s the rest of today’s news — Gordon
Five more stories in the news
1. US to blacklist eight more Chinese companies The Biden administration will later today place eight Chinese companies including DJI, the world’s largest commercial drone manufacturer, on an investment blacklist for their alleged involvement in the surveillance of the Uyghur Muslim minority.
2. House holds top Trump aide in contempt The US House of Representatives voted to hold Donald Trump’s former chief of staff Mark Meadows in criminal contempt yesterday, after text messages revealed fresh details inside the White House during the January 6 Capitol riot.
3. Congress votes to lift US debt ceiling US lawmakers voted to raise the government’s borrowing limit by $2.5tn to $31.4tn, in an eleventh-hour effort to avert default before the end of the year. Democratic Senate majority leader Charles Schumer said the proposal to increase the debt limit would fund the US government for at least another year.
4. Kaisa offshore investors in talks to buy group’s distressed loans International investors in Kaisa are in talks to buy up to $1bn of the Chinese property developer’s distressed loans from mainland banks, in a push to gain information about its opaque restructuring process as the sector reels from the collapse of Evergrande.
5. UAE suspends talks with US over purchase of F-35 fighter jets The breakdown of talks over the $23bn purchase of 50 F-35 fighter jets and other weapons is a sign of friction between the Gulf state and Washington. The sale was initially agreed last year by the Trump administration but Abu Dhabi has raised concerns about the restrictions Washington is seeking to impose on the use of the warplanes.
Experts have warned that the US is “exposed” to the dangers of the Omicron variant as healthcare systems in some states struggle to cope with a wave of infections caused by the Delta strain. Yesterday it was confirmed the Covid-19 death toll in the US had reached 800,000.
Boris Johnson last night suffered the biggest rebellion of his premiership as MPs from his own party voted against new measures to curb the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant in the UK.
Two doses of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine provide 70 per cent protection against hospitalisation from Omicron, according to a real-world analysis from South Africa. Separately, Pfizer’s antiviral pill cut the risk of hospitalisation or death by up to 89 per cent in high-risk patients, according to final trial results.
The world will face a shortfall of 3bn vaccine shots early next year if richer nations “aggressively” boost adults and offer immunisation to children, the World Health Organization warned.
The day ahead
Federal Reserve meeting The US central bank is expected to announce a swifter scaling back of its enormous stimulus programme as it outlines a more assertive policy to control surging inflation. Yesterday it was confirmed that producer prices rose at the fastest pace on record.
Retail sales The Census Bureau will publish retail sales data for November, including the period covering the Thanksgiving weekend. Economists have forecast that sales grew 0.8 per cent from the previous month.
Airline chiefs in Washington Executives from America’s biggest airlines will be on Capitol Hill, appearing before a Senate committee hearing on the government’s oversight of the industry during the pandemic.
Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls who code, and Mónica Aspe, the CEO of AT&T Mexico, are tow of the speakers at this year’s Women at the Top Americas conference starting today.
What else we’re reading
FT Person of the Year: Elon Musk Despite facing an army of doubters in the traditional auto industry and on Wall Street, the controversial Tesla chief executive has triggered a historic shift towards electric vehicles. That is why the FT is naming Musk its Person of the Year. Editor Roula Khalaf explains more in a letter to readers.
Shortages, what shortages? If one word captures the economic takeaway from the pandemic, it is “shortages”. Economic powers have acted to bend globalised capitalist production patterns to within the reach of national authorities: a test they passed with flying colours, writes Martin Sandbu.
Studio wars: battle of the streamers sparks real estate frenzy The pandemic injected a fresh urgency into the frenetic war under way in Hollywood: audiences were at home seeking an escape, but restrictions prevented the filming of new material and created a production bottleneck.
Valérie Pécresse begins bid to oust Macron The presidential candidate for the Les Républicains must strike a balance to reach France’s top office: win back voters who edged to the centre and helped Emmanuel Macron to victory in 2017 as well as those veering to the far-right.
The tennis players struggling to break even Tennis champions Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka are among the best paid athletes in the world. But lower ranked players often struggle to make a living. For this video, the FT followed two players fighting to get to the top and get paid.
Sunday night’s season finale of Succession rewarded viewers with nuggets of wisdom from the elite media and dealmaking worlds the show portrays so well. Warning: this review contains spoilers.