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Alan Johnson is among a small group of behind-the-scenes information brokers who help determine how Wall Street firms distribute billions of dollars to their workers. He operates as a compensation consultant in an obscure corner of the management consulting industry and in the shadows of high finance.


1. What was the most interesting thing that you learned in this article?
2. How do this year’s bonuses compare to 2008?
3. What do Wall Street pay packages routinely include? Discuss how these bonus items are accounted for.
4. How does Mr. Johnson research his recommendations?


Roose, K. (2012).The Invisible Hand Behind Bonuses on Wall Street, The New York Times, Jan. 16 (Retrievable online at