'Well, everybody I know is looking for a job'

Trading Places

'For every 10 of them there’s going to be three or four left'.

It was once such a sexy profession, inspiring the realm of Sherman McCoy in the novel 'The Bonfire of the Vanities.' In the 1980s, the excitment in the trading room, with hundreds of people talking on the phone, was palpable, like a sporting event, said Kerry Stein, head of credit trading at Lloyds Securities. Those days are gone.

'It’s surprising how quiet a place could be compared to what I had known,' said Stein, who began trading high-yield bonds in 1985 at Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc., the house of Michael Milken, who was nicknamed the junk-bond king.

Bloomberg News reports that as bond-trading volumes have shrunk, so have the number of jobs, leaving even some of the most senior traders and salesmen moving from firm to firm. There’s a wave of journeymen in an industry that used to attract the young in throngs, lured by money and prestige, according to Michael Maloney, president of fixed-income recruiting firm Michael P. Maloney Inc.

'The business model is broken and 50 percent of the people in our world who are in trading are stuck right now,' Maloney said in an interview in his New York office.

'For every 10 of them there’s going to be three or four left,' he said. 'What’s the timeframe? Well, everybody I know is looking for a job - not looking for a job, looking for a career.'

Hit the link below to access the complete Bloomberg News article:

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