Remember all that talk and those regulations and that little AIG fiasco concerning that five-letter word (b-o-n-u-s) that lay folks equated with greed and hubris and part of the problem that led to the recession we're currently in?
Well, that was then—when some banks were cuffed by something called TARP—and this is now—when banks such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan have shed their TARP restraints and are back to killing it in the markets. In fact, they're making such a killing that this year could be the biggest yet for bonuses at some of the top investment banks in the world. And the reason isn't that the deal market has returned to its pre-recession level (though it is inching closer) but that there are now fewer players at the table eating the investment banking revenue pie (word is, of the M&A cake, Morgan Stanley is currently out-feasting its arch enemy Goldman; look for this brawl to go down to the wire come December).
Also, in case you were curious, the Oracle of Omaha aka Warren Buffett is not only killing it but slaughtering it. Remember that $5 billion investment Mr. Buffett made in Goldman Sachs last September that did not appear to be all the great at the time? Well, the Oracle has already made about $1 billion on that one, thus far.