Is Occupy Wall Street targeting the wrong group?
It turns out the finance sector only makes up 14% of the top 1% of American earners, says this CNN Money report. Executives in other industries make up more than 30% of America's richest cohort. Medical professionals compose close to 16% and lawyers are 8% of the top 1%.
Meanwhile, no one is immune to the weak economy. The threshold to make it into the 1% club was over $424,00 in 2007. Today, it's $343,927. That's in large part due to the stock market crash. The number of bankers in the elite echelon might also shrink thanks to lousy earnings on Wall Street this year. Lots of bankers, traders and hedge fund managers will still take home big six figure paychecks, but for many it will likely be less than they earned the prior year. Bonuses on Wall Street may fall as much as 40% from a year ago, reports the Wall Street Journal.
Don't expect any tears to be shed on their behalf. "Everyone is above average," Michelle Leder of footnoted.com tells Daniel Gross in the accompanying interview, referring to the huge sums of money still made on Wall Street. The average salary financial services employee in 2009 was $311,000, according to New York's Comptroller's office. Meanwhile, Leder says, even if the rank and file may earn less this year she's not expecting the top earners of CEO's of the major banks to take a big hit.