Meredith Whitney is a bit like Marc Faber, or Nostradamus: she always thinks something bad is coming.
This time last year, Whitney said banks had another 50,000 job cuts to go and that anyone out of the market should take whatever they could get. In May this year, she said banks would slowly bleed staff and there would be stealth job cuts. Now Whitney has said the U.S. financial sector is on the cusp of some epic layoffs which could see 100,000 jobs removed or another 15% of headcount slashed. “We are on the precipice of a seismic down-sizing on Wall Street, the likes of which have never occurred before,” Whitney reportedly wrote to clients, excitedly.
Separately, 23 year old Michael Penn has been hanging around outside the Battery Park Ferry Terminal, near Goldman Sachs’ New York office, handing out coffee and donuts in an attempt to find a job and generally ingratiate himself. Penn told Bloomberg he didn’t actually get a job, but he did get an interview and a “bunch of leads.” Quizzed as to why a young man of his calibre should want to go into Wall Street these days, Penn said banking was like a game: “You can play the market like you can play a game of chess.” Penn was a national chess champion aged nine. “It was all downhill from there,” he reflected.
Goldman traders lost money on six days in the second quarter. (Bloomberg)
Bruno Iksil will probably face no charges. (Reuters)
Now looks like a good time to work for Norway’s sovereign wealth fund. It already owns about 2.5% of every company listed in Europe. (Financial Times)
Banks’ proprietary bond trading networks don’t seem to be going so well – activity has slowed to a trickle. (WSJ)
Now that RBS has got out of structured products and equity derivatives, SocGen and Deutsche are doing very well in this area. (Bloomberg)
Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are all making a big push into FX. (Reuters)
The total number of employees in Canary Wharf nearly quadrupled between 2001 and 2012, from 27,400 to 100,500. (ONS)