Why it's not actually that great

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Fresh from yesterday's revelations that Q2 is likely to be as bountiful as Q1, Sanford Bernstein analysts have issued a little table highlighting why it's not worth getting overexcited, at least not in investment banking divisions.

Yes, ECM is strong, but only when it comes to rights issues - IPOs were practically non-existent in Europe in the first half.

Less promisingly, asset backed and mortgaged backed issuance are still a very, very small fraction of 2007 levels, issuance of high yield bonds actually declined between Q1 and Q2, and announced and completed M&A were both down on 2007 and down on 2008.

In fact, the only thing that really looked good in the first two quarters was the issuance of investment grade debt...

Despite this, headhunters are emphatic that things are improving, particularly in ECM where BarCap, Nomura, RBS, HSBC and 'the big firms' are hiring. However, we're told they only want managing directors. VPs and associates are still surplus to requirement.