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Wall Street Facing Less Business, Less Pay, Less Reward

Monday, 22 Sep 2008 | 4:48 PM ET

The despair of Wall Street, redux. Volatility with no volume. That's what we got today. The Dow swung in a 400 POINT RANGE, but volume was about half what it was at the end of last week.

Why? Some said too much uncertainty over the Treasury bill, some said with no short sellers adding liquidity, what do you expect? Others said the reflation trade has added another level of confusion.

The markets may have acted negatively over concern about all the strings Democrats are attaching to the Treasury Department rescue plan, but don't kid yourself: a deal will get done.

Still, don't underestimate what this bill is doing to the psychology on the Street. Most stock traders would be willing to accept more help for homeowners facing foreclosure as part of the bill.

What's left? Some Dems want a stake (warrants) in any company that sells assets to the program. That's a problem. We're selling you the assets, below market price probably, and you still want warrants?

Also an issue: drastically limiting pay for executives. We are probably not just talking about CEOs. We're probably talking about anyone in management. And--as we all know--commercial bank management makes A LOT less than investment bank management.

Bottom line: less business, less pay, less reward. That's what Wall Street management is facing today.

Little wonder some guys are thinking of getting out altogether.

    • Bailout Plan Will Be Drag On Fragile US Economy
    • What Democrats Are Proposing
    • Should Homeowners Be Bailed Out Too? Take Our Poll
    • Never Say Never Again With Too Big To Fail

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  • A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

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