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legacy
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Short-term job prospect in quant finance

February 27th, 2009, 6:22 pm

Does anyone have any idea if the recruitment in the capital market/quant finance has bottomed out, or we should still expect harder time in the coming months.Specifically, is the job prospect in March/April 2009 will be better than January/February 2009?Regards,L.
 
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Keanu
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February 27th, 2009, 6:56 pm

The place, where I work, has confirmed a hiring freeze. As long as the financial market has not started to recover, I would not expect that the job market is getting better.
 
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horacioaliaga
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February 27th, 2009, 7:08 pm

My company is expanding, but because everybody talks about crisis, there is hiring freeze until July 2009
 
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twofish
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February 27th, 2009, 9:19 pm

Nowhere close to bottoming out. The super-crazy optimistic outlook is that there will be another round of layoffs after Q1 earnings comes out. After that, it depends a lot on how well or badly all of the things in Washington go. The absolute super-crazy best outlook is that people will be doing new hires again Q4-2009 and early-2010.
 
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Nomade
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February 27th, 2009, 10:42 pm

Yeah, super-duper crazy ultra optimistic relying on help from the hidden gods of finance: Q1 2010. Personally I think it will take a bit longer. You need a couple of solid quarters for confidence to come back. You also need some time to clean up the market (ie the many who were let go have to either find a seat or leave the industry). We also need to digest Citi and potentially BAC. That could well take another year. I would guess that until end of 2010 you will only see opportunistic hiring at the more experienced level or at the analyst level (because analysts work hard and they are cheap). This is a good time to go to school actually. It is also a good time to move internally (many desks need people but can't hire from outside)
 
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twofish
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February 28th, 2009, 12:03 pm

The good news is that I think that there are going to be jobs long term, and things are going to be roaring back, once we actually have hit bottom.It's not like some industries where people are showing up to work with nothing to do. With all of the cuts, people are going crazy trying to have one person doing work that should be done by two or three people.
 
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Nomade
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February 28th, 2009, 12:50 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: twofishThe good news is that I think that there are going to be jobs long term, and things are going to be roaring back, once we actually have hit bottom.It's not like some industries where people are showing up to work with nothing to do. With all of the cuts, people are going crazy trying to have one person doing work that should be done by two or three people.This perception is due to the following: in many places, the cuts were uniformly in all business areas. Even when cutting, one must diversify. Many businesses were/are doing well (viz FX, commods, etc), but nonetheless they had their share of the cuts. In those businesses, there are more work to do than people to do it as you noticed. But there are business where deal flow is *considerably* slower than a few months ago (though one see things slowly coming back). Some banks were radical enough to simply exit those businesses (eg: Structured prodcuts at UBS, prop at JP, etc) , but others are waiting for the mkt to bottom so they can roar back with additional mkt share.
 
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penguina
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February 28th, 2009, 7:07 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: twofishThe good news is that I think that there are going to be jobs long term, and things are going to be roaring back, once we actually have hit bottom.You really think the days of fictional profits and the easy money are coming back?think again.
 
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Nomade
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February 28th, 2009, 8:29 pm

You have to realize that the future is unpredictable so an era of easy money could very well happen again, and sooner then you might think. There are other ways to make money than credit. That said, your point reminds me of something that many seem to miss: Losses in credit are real losses. They're not going to come back. puff gone! The 340bi or so of CDO's of the 2005-2006 vintage were largely decimated. You're looking at 5% recovery for the junior tranches. Even the higher tranches (ie AAA) that should have decent recovery are having < 25% recovery. Most of it have been written down but there is more to come. This is money down the drain. Like you said, these were fictitious money based on fictitious valuations. It's not like the stock market when people sell on a panic and then buy back all again (like 1987, or 2001).
 
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Anthis
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February 28th, 2009, 11:56 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: NomadeIt's not like the stock market when people sell on a panic and then buy back all again (like 1987, or 2001).What makes you think that stock market doesnt have fictitious valuations?If today only a small % of MSFT shareholders, either in absolute or relative terms, participated in the market and transacted a small % of MSFT shares outstanding at prices roughly 1$ higher or lower than the yesterday closing price, does it mean that you who may hold say 1000 MSFT shares, but didnt participated in the market should feel richer or poorer by 1000 bucks? Does your absence from the market imply approval for today's valuation? I really doubt.Edit: Typo corrected
Last edited by Anthis on March 1st, 2009, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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penguina
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March 2nd, 2009, 12:53 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: NomadeYou have to realize that the future is unpredictable so an era of easy money could very well happen again, and sooner then you might think. There are other ways to make money than credit. I don't agree. Credit it at the heart of all that the financial sector does. All "money" is basically credit. When a commercial bank lends "money" it is creating credit. When a central bank expands its balance sheet to buy treasuries it is creating credit. In both cases the "money" is backed by the ability of the debtors to repay at some future date. That ability has been exhausted.There is over-capacity all over the world producing stuff that people can no longer afford because their credit has run out. While I am sure there are some opportunities in this, it is very difficult to see how there's going to be enough good revenue generating schemes to maintain the financial sector at its current monstrous size in an environment of extreme deleveraging and asset price deflation. I believe this process will take years to play out because there can not be a quick fix despite all the people trying to call a bottom.This is not crisis occurring on paper because of irrational panic - there are huge and real fundamental imbalances that need to be worked out. The failed politicians and failed central bankers are desperately trying to maintain the status quo and prevent the necessary correction that needs to happen. They will fail.
 
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Nomade
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March 2nd, 2009, 1:32 am

Anthis: Dude, don't be pedantic. You know what I mean. I'm referring to things such as 1987 or 2001 after 911. That is, huge losses in the stock market that were recovered shortly after.penguina: Bad wording, what I meant is structured credit, though you should be able to figure that out given the context.My guess is that the liquid stuff will reign supreme going forward. There is plenty of money to be made in FX, rates, commodities, and even equity derivatives. Who knows? In 1999 very few people would think that credit derivatives would become what they've become. We're going through a cycle that will sure end and the boom times will return for sure. It might take 2 yrs, or it might take 10yrs (I personally think it will take >2yr).My point is that this stuff is just impossible to predict either way. Apologies if that wasn't clear.
Last edited by Nomade on March 1st, 2009, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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penguina
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March 2nd, 2009, 1:54 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: NomadeAnthis: Dude, don't be pedantic. You know what I mean. I'm referring to things such as 1987 or 2001 after 911. That is, huge losses in the stock market that were recovered shortly after.penguina: Bad wording, what I meant is structured credit, though you should be able to figure that out given the context.My guess is that the liquid stuff will reign supreme going forward. There is plenty of money to be made in FX, rates, commodities, and even equity derivatives. Who knows? In 1999 very few people would think that credit derivatives would become what they've become. We're going through a cycle that will sure end and the boom times will return for sure. It might take 2 yrs, or it might take 10yrs (I personally think it will take >2yr).My point is that this stuff is just impossible to predict either way. Apologies if that wasn't clear.fair enough I agree with you in general.My opinion is that this is not part of the normal economic cycle but part of a longer term cycle - I think this is one of those once a generation things and main surprises will be on the downside not the upside. I believe these are events of a magnitude outside of the experience of most people alive today and that people are going to be surprised about how quickly things will deteriorate further despite the already gloomy mood.And BTW, just look at Eastern Europe. We are soon going to be reaching the point where everyone starts to realize that there are failed entities (states and financials) too large to bailout and another round of panic will take place.
Last edited by penguina on March 1st, 2009, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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legacy
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Joined: January 19th, 2008, 11:11 pm

Short-term job prospect in quant finance

March 2nd, 2009, 7:51 am

Thanks for sharing your opinions. Another question is that if I have to settle with a lower profile function in finance, how difficult it will be to move to the prime roles when market picks up again ?L.
 
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twofish
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March 2nd, 2009, 11:52 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: penguinaI don't agree. Credit it at the heart of all that the financial sector does. All "money" is basically credit. When a commercial bank lends "money" it is creating credit. When a central bank expands its balance sheet to buy treasuries it is creating credit. In both cases the "money" is backed by the ability of the debtors to repay at some future date. That ability has been exhausted.So wave the magic wand and create new credit. If there is a huge amount of capacity in the world producing stuff that people want but can't afford then print lots of money so people can afford them.
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