Wall Street Bonus Estimate: $38 B.

Bloomberg News reports that the leading Wall Street investment banks could hand out $38 billion in year-end bonuses–or, about $201,500 per employee. The bonuses would be spread amid 186,000 workers at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns.

And, if history’s any guide, the bonuses will then filter into basically evey nook of New York City’s luxury economy, from jewelry to real estate to cars.

So much for tougher times. Wall Street Bonus Estimate: $38 B.