Bloomberg’s Max Raskin and Ilan Kolet report that, at 101,200 in March, the number employed in “securities and commodities contracts intermediation and brokerage” in NYC is the lowest on record.
So it’s never been harder to get a job on Wall Street than it is now. It’s also never been harder to keep your job either.
There are a bunch of reasons for this. Wall Street bank earnings showed that what analyst Meredith Whitney calls “the endless beat down” of legal battles has not abated and toxic assets remain on balance sheets all over the Street.
And its not like these costs are steadily decreasing over time, they’re more erratic than that. Citi, for example, spent $572 million on toxic assets last quarter — it spent $619 million on them in 2011 and 2012 combined.
That means, despite continued brutal cost cutting, banks will need to find ways to raise the cash to pay for financial crisis debt.
It will be tough. New regulation, the commodities crunch, and low interest rates have decimated Wall Street revenue streams like sales and trading (down at every firm on the Street).
Additionally, the housing market has yet to recover. Americans feel comfortable adding to debt on their credit cards, for example, but banks still aren’t churning out mortgages the way they used to. That’s probably a good thing, but still, that part of the business isn’t making the money it used to.
Put all this together and it’s very simple: This could still get worse. More layoffs could be coming and we may not have seen the end of the blood letting.
Check out Bloomberg’s chart below, if you have the stomach for it.
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