11 October 2012

We'll Need a Bigger Boat

Why did/do flunked out math and physics PhD candidates go into finance/business admin/economics? The quants. Follow the money. They started in earnest in the 1970s, and became the Mongol hoards (or a school of squid?) which cratered the global economy a couple of years ago (we are past that, right?). Now that the pillaging is done with, Wall Street has turned off the money spigot, yes? No. See here. Not all that newsy, in that the previous year wasn't much different.
Between 2009 and 2011, compensation in the securities industry grew at an average annual rate of 8.7 percent, outpacing 5.3 percent for the rest of the private sector.
Note that the main data refers to 2011; we don't yet know what the numbers will be for 2012, but...
Some 48 percent of 911 Wall Street employees surveyed by eFinancialCareers.com said they felt their bonuses this year would higher than in 2011.
OK, so they've done so much better by the world's economy, they need yet more moolah. But here's the real problem:
Financial jobs accounted for nearly a quarter of all private sector wages paid in [New York City] last year, even though they accounted for just a fraction, 5.3 percent, of the city's private sector jobs.
One of the real conundra of the financial services sector is the assumption that it's driven by computers and quants and superior smarts. Put another way, in the industrial sector, wages have been falling in deference to capital. Earlier posts have discussed the fall in labor as input to production. In the finance world, not so much. With all the talk of double secret probationed HFT computers, it's the Boys in the Boiler Room who get most of the moolah. Moolah that, could, be used to buy plant and machinery for physical production. All that money just to partner savers with borrowers? My, my.
Nearly half of all revenue on Wall Street is earmarked for compensation; in 2009, Morgan Stanley, which was hit harder during the crisis than most of its rivals, found itself paying out a record 62 percent of its net revenue in compensation and benefits. That number has since come down.


Euro2cent said...

Comrade, as a thank you for publishing your thoughts (from which I learn interesting things), I'd ask you to please look up the words "horde" and "hoard". I assure you it will make your writing more persuasive.

And "yup, that" on the banksters. What else would they they do different from thieves with their gains? Invest in better desks?

Robert Young said...

May be. Could have been sarcasm?