By Dan Fastenberg

One of the secrets of finance is that the banking world has a history of working in a lot of ways like a basketball league. You may be a star, but your killer jump shot barely matters if your team is in last place. Or to put in actual terms, what bank you work at is as important as your analyst skills. So if you're lucky enough to be one of the premiere bankers, you can just change teams, or banks, when fortunes fade.

That fluidity in the finance world may however be coming to an end, or so says a new report from Reuters. "There are plenty of resumes going around in the market right now, just not too many takers," Joe Neitham, a recruiter at TRC Group in Singapore, told the news agency. Just four years ago, when the volatility arrived on Wall Street in the wake of the financial crisis, its course was unpredictable. And its contours have already changed, Reuters says. When Lehman and other giants came crashing down, there were as many finance houses, like Barclays, that were then seeing golden days, going on "hiring sprees" in the first few years of the financial crisis.

The dynamic of 2011 is quite different, the report says. If banks aren't trimming their rolls, they certainly aren't hiring anymore either, Reuters says. In other words, no bank can speak of flush times. One could look to Asia to get a sense of the new stop sign that has taken over on Wall Street. Indeed, Asian finance was a bastion of prosperity during the worst of America's finance woes, and the securities sector there grew from 42,000 employees in 2007 to 55,000 at the end of this September. Among the Asian banks that were once outlets for hiring that are now going forward with a no new hands on deck policy is the Japanese financial holding company, Nomura.

Observers of Wall Street have tried to come up with explanations as to how some banks were up until this point able to see sky high returns even as global finance confronted its worst crisis since the Great Depression. And many have highlighted the popular Wall Street policy of maintaining skeleton crews, keeping staff overhead as low as possible to boost profits. It may be that all banks are now catching on, creating the new dynamic described above. Regardless, finance chieftains have defended the no hiring policies by highlighting the so-called "uncertainty" they are operating under, thereby disincentivizing hiring. And among the issues raised by Wall Street executives in defending the lack of hiring are the new regulations introduced by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act.

Among the regulations introduced by Dodd-Frank is the mandate that banks keep more money in reserve so they need not look to Washington for a bailout in the event of massive crisis. This policy was also intended to halt the riskiest of trading. The new framework has drawn the ire of bankers, who say our capitalism must allow for such trading. For his part, former Sen. Chris Dodd, who sponsored the bill, is wearing the oft-sounded rebuke of his bill as a badge of courage.

"I should be flattered, I suppose," he told NBC's Meet the Press online program "Press Pass" on Friday. "I don't know of anyone who wants to go back to the fall of 2008."



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enpassant44

Aww, that's a shame. The banks are complaining that Dodd-Frank makes them keep more of their money in reserve. The poor, poor banks.

November 14 2011 at 1:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rondonit

They made our retirement theirs, a while back. Now it's time to spend theirs, they've already helped the rest of us lose ours.

November 14 2011 at 12:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rick Herbert

The gap between the Bank's fortunes and Homeowner's misfortune needs to be reduced....see http://2percentfor100percent.blogspot.com

It will work

November 13 2011 at 9:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jim

The way times are now they are lucky if their next job isn't weighting down a noose at the hands of a lynch mob! OWS won't stay non violent for long. Shame is the victims will probably be other middle class people instead of anyone in the top 1%.

November 13 2011 at 6:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
gmydogbud

Heard of a person who worked for a bank and did such a good job that customers waited in line for this person and they did not mind - well, the bank manager did not like this and the person was brought up on the carpet for giving such good customer service that customers did not mind waiting for this person! In todays America you get in trouble for doing an exceptional job and treating customers with respect! Only in America!!

November 12 2011 at 11:55 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
larryeart

A simple solution since the big banks DEMAND that they continue to be able to do the riskiest trading, they say in the name of "capitalism", is to BREAK THEM UP INTO SMALL ENOUGH to let FAIL as consequence of such risky trading. The banks have it all in their favor right now-take HUGE risks that are not truly risks since they will get bailed out!! Why not shoot for the moon if you have a backstop (US taxpayers) and cannot be allowed to fail. Break up all corps over $100 billion and then let them go under when their managers continue to gamble. See how many overpaid CEO's thrive in that REAL world marketplace. These clowns demand "free capitlism" when they actully do NOT have "free" market consequences to their ginormous risk-taking. Give the REAL free-market accountability-including free-to-go-bankrupt. Adios big shots.

November 12 2011 at 5:18 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
Dot

The poor quality of help at the major banks is due to closures of smaller banks and poor quality of workers that worked for those banks that are now working for the big bank. There are very few checks and balances performed now at the big banks. Auditors are a thing of the past. The National bank auditors only review the very large activity and peole are allowed to defraud the banks everyday. Charged off loan balances and overdrafts are not reviewed for possible recoveries unless the are at a very large level.
Banks should look at recoveries of losses, rather than increasing fees.

November 12 2011 at 1:36 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
hertamania

The guys at the top are paid way to much, bank boards need to offer less not more. If they all do it you will start seeing pay drop and perks go a way. A guy lays off 1,000 people and gets a bonus for saving money. It took a Harvard MBA to figure that out? But service goes out the window. Bankers, lawyers and politicians, who needs them?

November 12 2011 at 1:13 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
mreyes5270

I'm sure they are going to get a job as a car saleman or a realestate agent . Or try to their Brokers Realestate Lic and see if they can rob anyone else

November 12 2011 at 12:41 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Uncle Scruffy

Banks should be limited to making money the old-fashioned way-banking.

November 12 2011 at 12:08 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply