Tag Archives: bankers

They report, you decide

Unfortunately for P. Carlyle Smithenson, law firms aren't hiring either

Unfortunately for P. Carlyle Smithenson, law firms aren’t hiring either

I ‘ve posted articles on this subject before, but because Greenwich real estate is so dependent on the health of the financial industry, I’ll pass on this WSJ article about storm clouds on the horizon: bank earnings are getting clobbered. Some people will take a malicious glee in this development but not me: like gardeners, car salesmen and builders, I make my living from these folks.

And Dollar Bill and his fellow travelers get to loot them.

Five years after the financial crisis, with major stock indexes at or near records, the economy expanding and companies issuing bonds at a healthy clip, banks and securities firms should be posting standout results. But while the weakness could be temporary, some financial analysts say the decline in mortgage business likely will linger into next year. They say, with markets relatively quiet, trading revenue, particularly in bonds, isn’t likely to bounce back soon. That could portend an even weaker fourth quarter and force banks to make sharper cuts still in expenses.

When times are difficult, banks cut jobs. In the financial-services industry, the biggest expense is people. “If revenue is soft,” said Frederick Cannon, an analyst at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, “folks don’t get paid.”

For the biggest firms, a plunge in fixed-income trading has been just as painful. Big banks trade bonds and other debt securities, along with currencies and commodities, and the business often comprises the biggest slice of an investment bank’s total revenue. In 2012, firms benefited from volatile markets, which helped the total volume of trades. What’s more, a debt rally boosted the value of bonds firms hold on their books. That reversed in 2013, with trading volumes falling as prices slumped. “If these numbers don’t get better in the fourth quarter, we could see a tough bonus season and some layoffs,” said Mr. Cannon.

“A lot of people are very scared,” said Gustavo Dolfino, head of New York recruiting firm WhiteRock Group. Working with bankers and traders these days, Mr. Dolfino said: “I feel like a shrink.”

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Bi-Partisan taxpayer rape

We’ve forked over $750 billion to bankers so that they can buy other banks, pay themselves nice salaries and attend conferences in sunny climes where they gloat over our stupidity and their greed.

Most of the banks that received the money are far smaller than behemoths like Citigroup or Bank of America. A review of investor presentations and conference calls by executives of some two dozen banks around the country found that few cited lending as a priority. An overwhelming majority saw the bailout program as a no-strings-attached windfall that could be used to pay down debt, acquire other businesses or invest for the future.

I can hardly wait to see what the next trillion goes to.

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