One devastating picture of a Wall Street trading floor

Photo: DOUG KANTER/AFP/Getty Images

We’ve written plenty about the brutal conditions on Wall Street over the last few days.

More than 10,000 front-office jobs have been cut across the top 10 banks since 2011, and that number could swell as 2016 revenues have disappointed. There are rumours flying around about fresh cuts in the next couple of months.

And this image, Tweeted on Monday by Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab & Co, really says it all. 

For a bit of history, UBS set up the world’s largest trading floor in Stamford, Connecticut right before the financial crisis. Royal Bank of Scotland had a similar sized trading floor across the road. Then the financial crisis hit, the two banks were both bailed out, and both downsized dramatically.

In the years that followed, UBS moved the bulk of its trading staff to New York. Sarah Krouse at The Wall Street Journal reported in 2015 that UBS would rent some office space in the RBS building across the road, and vacate the old Stamford office. According to a report from the Stamford Advocate earlier this year, a $156 million mortgage on the UBS building was transferred to a company that works through problem loans

The emptying of the UBS trading floor is pretty dramatic, but similar, albeit smaller, moves have been taking places across Wall Street over the last few years. Trading floors have been combined, with whole floors left almost empty

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