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Important revenue stream for state slides

ALBANY -– Bonuses paid to the New York City securities industry, an important source of annual tax revenue for the state government, dropped 8 percent last year, state comptroller Thomas DiNapoli reported this afternoon.

But the state’s fiscal watchdog sought to put a positive spin on the numbers, noting that total Wall Street profits totaled $27.6 billion last year -– the second-largest on record. And he said overall compensation for Wall Street workers grew 6 percent last year.

The annual report by the comptroller projects the Wall Street bonus pool last year totaled $20.8 billion –- off about one-third just two years earlier. But DiNapoli said part of the drop-off is the result of regulatory changes that have pushed compensation packages to rely less on annual bonuses and more on things like deferred salaries and stock options.

Such a move, DiNapoli said, is good for New York’s state budget, which has been the beneficiary and victim over the years of the roller coaster ride by Wall Street bonuses.

Activity on Wall Street accounts for about 13 percent of the state’s revenues –- down from about 20 percent before the recession hit, the comptroller said.

"A more stable and less volatile securities industry is in the best interests of Wall Street, the city and the state," DiNapoli said in a statement.

In an interview this afternoon on CNBC, DiNapoli acknowledged the overall bonus pool number "may look like a negative."

But, he said, "Wall Street continues to be on the rebound, and that’s good news."

Wall Street apparently wasn’t glued to the television interview: soon after DiNapoli’s appearance, the Dow was down nearly 100 points during a second straight day of financial jitters over the exploding Middle East.

Here's DiNapoli's interview:

-- Tom Precious

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About Politics Now

Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

rmccarthy@buffnews.com


Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

tprecious@buffnews.com


Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri | jterreri@buffnews.com


Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski | jzremski@buffnews.com

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