:Text may be subject to copyright.This blog does not claim copyright to any such text. Copyright remains with the original copyright holder.It's like Christmas all over again - for a lucky handful at least.
In the high-class homes of Notting Hill, London, the mansions of Connecticut and luxury towers of Hong Kong, investment bankers are eagerly waiting for their bonus cheques.
The latest round of bumper payouts could not come at a more incendiary time. The credit crisis that began almost five years ago is showing little sign of abating, unemployment is rising and pay for most workers is flatlining. Unsurprisingly, public anger about bonuses is growing.
Politicians have piled into the debate in a week that saw Royal Bank of Scotland chief executive Stephen Hester hand back his bonus and his widely vilified predecessor, Fred Goodwin, stripped of his knighthood.
They were headline-grabbing gestures, but have done little to upset the status quo. Banks say bonus pools have shrunk and payouts are being capped, but outside the glitzy world of investment banking, those used to drawing just an annual salary are baffled by a system of hefty incentives on top of already high pay.
To put the disparities into context, the average wage bill for one top banker would pay for almost 70 nurses.