Goldman Sachs hot shots are expected to land an 81 percent rise in pay and bonuses for 2009, leading Wall Street's biggest banks in rewarding staff with a total of $108 billion (US$100 billion).
Analysts predict that Goldman will hand out up to $22 billion to its 30,000 staff members - a windfall of around $715,780 a head – sparking further public backlash over fat cat pay.
Australia's defence budget for 2009-10 was set at $25 billion in May last year - increased by $1.7 billion to help fund the cost of operations in Afghanistan ($1.4 billion), Iraq ($62.2 million) and East Timor ($213.8 millon).
Goldman, which will round up the US banks reporting season on Thursday, is bracing itself for outrage despite many staff taking bonuses in shares rather than cash, as well as higher-paid executives being forced to donate money to charity.
Rival bank JP Morgan was slammed by politicians across the globe on Friday when it revealed plans to pay up 24,654 traders a vast $10.1 billion in bonuses.
JP Morgan's bankers in London are thought to be in line for an average $409,500, according to UK reports.
The bank was awarded $16.6 billion of US taxpayers' cash amid the global financial crisis last year. It has since repaid the loan, and last week posted a huge jump in profits to almost $13 billion.
Meanwhile, rival Morgan Stanley is rumoured to be planning payouts worth $16 billion, despite being slated to have lost around $922 million this year.
Citigroup is expected to pay out $5.5 billion in bonuses to its investment banking arm, despite preparing to report losses of $9.2 billion this week, according to The Sunday Times.
The bank, which was the last of its peers to repay the US government, is expected to admit to paying staff more than $32.5 billion in bonuses, salaries and benefits overall.
The windfalls come days after the US President Barack Obama unveiled a "Spank the Banks" tax which will net $125 billion over a decade, in a bid to curb the "obscene" bonus culture.
In the UK, the new 50 percent "super-tax" on bonuses above $44,000 should pull around $530 million into the government's coffers.
However, Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling has been urged to match Obama's move.
Liberal Democrat shadow chancellor Vince Cable told The Sun newspaper that continuing to reward reckless bankers was akin to "giving a gambling addict a ticket to Las Vegas".
By Emma Thelwell, ninemsn Money 18 Jan 2010
In a system that is realistically 'above the law'
Bankers and Financiers who control the world,
give pre$ents to each other.