The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Congrats to Wall Street, where the average bonus is three times the average household income

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A bit of sunlight poking through the darkness on Wall Street (jk there is no darkness on Wall Street): The average bonus for a Wall Street employee ticked up again in 2014, hitting $172,860 according to analysis from the New York state comptroller. That sum isn't a recent peak; before the recession, Wall Streeters were getting $225,000 in 2014 dollars.

That's enough to give the maximum 2014 contribution to 66 members of Congress, should the Wall Street bonusers have wanted to. And seeing as how contributions from the finance, insurance and real estate industries in 2014 hit nearly half a billion dollars, it's safe to assume that some of this cash will make its way to Washington. (It may also explain why Jeb Bush just hired a Wall Street executive to help guide his campaign policy)

The $172,860 figure may not be a recent peak, but it is still more than three times the median household income in America. And that's just the bonus — not the salaries these Wall Street workers earn.

Notice the trend on that red line. It is a bit steeper than the blue ones.

Another comparison to regular America: The average Wall Street bonus used to be about one-ninth of the median price of a new home. These days, two Wall Streeters could pool their bonuses and buy a house together, and have some money left over. (Not a house near Wall Street, mind you, but the $172,000 would certainly cover a lot of the rent.)

If Jeb actually did want to hit the much-pooh-poohed $100 million fundraising goal, he'd only need 579 Wall Street workers to turn over their bonuses. Last year alone, Wall Street added 2,300 new employees. So maybe raising $100 million isn't as hard as it looked.

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