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More evidence that the recession is over!

Pay on Wall Street is on pace to break a record high for a second consecutive year, according to a study conducted by The Wall Street Journal.

About three dozen of the top publicly held securities and investment-services firms — which include banks, investment banks, hedge funds, money-management firms and securities exchanges — are set to pay $144 billion in compensation and benefits this year, a 4% increase from the $139 billion paid out in 2009.

There’s some speculation in the article that Wall Street pay might “level out” as profits flatten in response to financial reform, but if that happens “analysts and experts expect that Wall Street will lay off employees in order to keep bonus pools high.” So it’s all good.

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