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Economists are it

Suddenly, economists are HOT. As we reported earlier this week, global macro hedge funds are said to be hiring. And Citigroup has apparently told investors to follow the pronouncements of its economists rather than its equity analysts if they want to call the end of the bear market.

Does this mean that economists are receiving more recruitment calls? Sadly not.

“It’s very slow,” says one senior economist at a European bank.

“It’s a macro moment, and demand for what we have to say has clearly gone up,” says another.

However, he’s hesitant to call a hiring rush without drawing up a few charts: “The market for economists is probably holding up better than for other financial services professionals, but it would be hard to say for certain without looking at some stats…”

Lee Thacker of search firm Silvermine Partners says economist jobs tend to be few and far between anyhow. “There are only one or two chief economists at each bank. They tend to come from academia and to stay in their roles for a very, very long time.”

Comments (10)

  1. A solid grounding in (Austrian) economics should be a prerequisite for any professional in the financial sector.

  2. Big Rob, I could not agree more with you.
    Having emerged in a strongly academia oriented environment myself (Economics/Econometrics) I have been simply stunned to experience how little educational background and understanding of fundamental Economics the majority of investment bankers I have worked with had. Having decided to go into business and not pursing an academic careers I am constantly being asked these days why the heck I did an MPhil in Economics when I ended up in investment banking. Many recruiters dont even have a clue where to put an MPhil degree and I have heard the silliest descriptions – some call it even failed PhD.
    And here is my answer: I think each and everyone should solid grounding in Economics who works at a financial institution, this is the only way to lift the standard of the profession. I say take fewer business courses (business is nothing you can teach, you will learn it when you are out there in the real world), go for the Economics courses (the ones most ppl have a natural inclination to simply avoid as the require more studying and more maths). We should have much more Economists in the financial services industry…

  3. I do not have much confidence in the “economists”, even they are Nobel prize-winner. If the economist are so smart, how come the current fiasco?

  4. Have economists not predicted 9 out of the last 3 recessions?

  5. the current fiasco is what happens when investment banks take people on with degrees in classics (and other such irrelevant degrees) from oxford and cambridge

  6. Oi henry i ave a degree in sociology from soton uni, i aint cumplainin cos i got me into da spread betting world. eco aint nuffin, and oxford uni is rubbish man. only losers go there who cant get any.

  7. I dont think the above is the real Henry ..

  8. I think everyone should be listened to. Economist, analyst etc…independently and then gather the info and make the more relevant scenario. I was surprised when discussing with a paper from 2005 in my actual AM company stating that the average price of houses was dangerously coming to the average income limit in the US. It was not saying when but is was clearly saying that it wasgoing to blow. Easy to predict, but it helped the company not to invest AT ALL in US RMBS. Helpful nowdays. We surely have other things though… ;-)

  9. I do agree with Pete Talks. Almost every financial co. was hiring for analysts. & probably that’s what led to the current disaster. The recruiters should have had some economics thinktank to see where the decisions of analysts are heading.

  10. Pete, don’t forget that economics is probably the only subject where models and theories are still taught and studied even if they are clearly utterly wrong! In all other disciplines, when a model doesn’t even come close to explaining the facts, it gets scrapped, but not in economics!
    Also, it’s not true that economics involves that much maths, and, most importantly, that so much maths is really useful. In my experience many economists brag about their understanding of maths and statistics because they know a tiny bit more than their colleagues who study business, but this makes them no experts. Many papers in economics, for example, still confuse p-values with error probabilities, a huge cause of laughter for true statisticians! But the point is: are all those apparently intimidating formulas really useful? Do they really explain economic behaviour or are they just a way to show off? The latter, as facts have proven…

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