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Bonus Season Boom: Hogwash?

The latest shot in the "Wall Street Bonus Bump: Fact or Fiction?" argument gets fired by the Observer's Tom Acitelli, who basically comes out and says the whole theory is BS. With a little help from Miller Samuel, and long hours spent staring at their graphic at right, Acitelli reports the volume of sales in the first half of the year stays fairly consistent, no matter the excesses of bonus season. To wit:

In the first six months of 2003 and 2004, despite widely varied bonuses the years before ($8.6 billion in 2002 versus $15.8 billion in 2003), the number of sales floated around 4,070, according to Miller Samuel. From the first half of 2005 through the first half of 2006, sales dropped by 270—despite 2005 being a record year for Wall Street bonuses, nearly $3 billion above the 2004 total.But the bonuses aren't worthless when it comes to real estate. Accitelli notes the "psychological boost" it gives brokers actually sends prices up. "The psychological boost from the bonuses every year, coupled with the usually slow winter sales season (read: slim pickings on the sales market), typically send springtime prices upward. That’s a reliable reality that reassures brokers, says one industry veteran, regardless of sales volume."
· Is Bonus Bump Bogus? Wall Street’s $36 B. Test [Observer]
· Wall Streeters Promise to Buy All Units on Market [Curbed]