Sunday, December 18, 2011

Rise of the Machines

"Wall Street employment is down 9%."

Boy. Now there's a yawner...

Wall Street employment might be down 9%... but compensation is down closer to 25% (and maybe 30%... and its only that high because the senior exec's ripping the government and the shareholders off... trader and broker income is off more)... and that's with all that the Fed and the U.S. Treasury did to soften this blow.

Well, speaking of blows... Europe is blowing. And this wind is going to level what is left of "Wall Street".

(And just who is "Wall Street", anyway? Lehman? Gone. Bear Stearns (my alma mater)? Gone. Goldman is staying off the the radar and out of the media... and don't even mention MF Global (ROFL!!!). Its embarrassing to watch CNBC - they have to struggle to get a dolt  capable of fogging a mirror from "Dewey-Fugam & Howe" and "Laydown and Whackett" to entertain the masses of disinterested investors....

Because there are no individual investors left. Its all machines. The volatility going on in the market is the result of infinite buy and sell programs - with the result that people just can't take it any more. I speak to CPA's regularly... first thing I ask is how their clients are doing trading the market... the answer, unsurprisingly is "not too hot". Since high frequency trading is now over 70% of the volume, and it was non-existant 10 years ago... and hedge funds are 30% (just making that number up... but I bet I am close), and they pretty much didn't exist 10 years ago, too... and trading volumes are down... it then follows that there are no individual investors left.

So... IMHO, it ain't long before New York and environs goes feral.

We are in a uniquely bad spot here.

2 comments:

PioneerPreppy said...

Interesting thoughts. As you and I have both said before though how long can they (FED, CB's etc) keep these plates in the air? I have been amazed at their resiliency so far. Not that everything you have predicted hasn't mostly come true it just seems to take a much longer time frame than any of us ever expected it would.

Greg T. Jeffers said...

Our "time frames" are f***ed up.

It was and is my opinion that it will take the remainder of the decade to grind us into the cement... and maybe longer... energy wise.

Ethanol, Nat Gas plant liquids, and Natural Gas came in better than expected... Crude and condensates came in right on schedule... had the non-crude inputs not been there... things would have been very different...

The Keynesian endgame is in full swing in Europe... how fast or suddenly is spreads is up for some debate, but not a lot... Japan is next, then us... and as it is, its pretty rough out there for young people starting out and those out of work.