Wall Street Job Market Falling Apart

trader and bear - recession on wall streetGiven the turmoil in the financial services market, now is not a good time to be a newly-graduated MBA holder, looking for a job on Wall Street.

With many hedge funds going belly-up and the bottom falling out of many investment banks (Bear Stearns being the biggest), one can only expect that there will soon be an influx of traders, investment bankers and brokers trudging the streets of Wall Street, looking for jobs.

This is how it goes on Wall Street. Feast or famine. Boom or bust. Everyone is hiring and offering great pay packages or they are firing and downsizing compensation packages. For the best and brightest, Wall Street will always have a job waiting. But for the rest this could be an unprecedented "down" period in the Wall Street hiring cycle. Bear Stearns has 14,000 employees, many of whom are likely to lose their jobs if the proposed agreement with JP Morgan Chase goes through. Citigroup intends to lay off 2,000 investment bankers and traders before the end of March. A new hedge fund blows up every day. The list goes on and on. Practically every major bank and broker is laying off right now and not hiring.

What kind of impact will this have on the economies of cities such as New York? The upsurge in the New York real estate market over the past five-six years has largely been fueled by the decadent bonuses lavished out by top tier investment banks and brokers. What happens now that people are getting laid off and bonuses are being slashed?

If you are a highly paid investment banker or trader who has just been given their walking papers, what is your move now? You are going to be competing with thousands (ok, tens of thousands) of other people seeking the same type of employment that you are. Do you go back to school and retrain for something else? Or do you ride out this down period, hoping that in a few years the sun starts to shine down on Wall Street once again?

Filed under: The Economic Meltdown | General Market News

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