Wall Street Is Back, Almost as Big as Ever

wallstreet.nytimes

(NYTimes) Major investment banks have raised their standard base salary this spring for recent college graduates to $85,000, the first rise after five years in which the salaries hovered near $70,000. At the complex in Lower Manhattan formerly known as the World Financial Center, the vacancy rate — which soared to 41 percent after Merrill Lynch consolidated offices after the financial crisis — is now less than 5 percent. And in a return of high-stakes deal-making, large American companies executed more mergers and acquisitions last year than they did the year before the global financial crisis, earning huge fees for their Wall Street advisers in the process. Seven years after a crisis that shook Wall Street to its core, the financial sector’s economic imprint has largely recovered. Read more here.

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5 responses to “Wall Street Is Back, Almost as Big as Ever

  1. Living on and being a part of a college campus, it is extremely clear that competition for the brightest students is pertinent in our culture. Accounting students are starting their internships during the summer after their sophomore year, and given job offers based on their performance almost two years before they would be joining the job force. However, in our cut throat society, this does not come as a surprise. As the article mentioned, growth in the finance sector has created increased competition for the best and brightest, no matter what the cost. Companies are giving recently graduates students salaries that our parents’ generation worked for decades to receive. Although this monetary incentive does attract highly qualified individuals, it also pulls them away from other fields and occupations. I believe that this poses a major risk in that we are putting such a large emphasis on finance, that other sectors of our economy (which provide actual growth) are being ignored. Many of these highly intellectual individuals that could have the potential to help create the next Apple or Google, and expand economic growth and job opportunities, are being drawn away from pursuing this type of entrepreneurial career. Additionally, it is concerning that after our most recent financial crisis, we may be headed towards a repeated fate, but just along a different path. If the statistics mentioned are true, it seems that we may only have a few more years to fix this trend until we reach another breaking point.

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  2. The recession of 2007 shook Wall Street to its core and affected families and individuals across the United States. At the time I was only a child and I did not fully understand the meaning of this recession but I could see through my parents eyes that something was going on. Now, although a non-business major, I still feel like I have more of a grasp of what happened that year.

    However reading this article on a day like today is so coincidental – for today it was announced that the Federal government has increased interest rates. Although most Americans see this as a negative thing it really isn’t. In addition, we are hearing more and more on the news that Americans are having more money to spend leisurely and seeing how gas is at an all time low, these are all signs of the economy improving.

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  3. It is almost upsetting how large the wage gap has grown in certain industries, finance being one of them. Understandably certain jobs involve accepting certain higher risk and may deserve to be compensated for, but the sheer growth rate far surpasses that of the average work.

    As an accounting major, I can say I definitely play into this system. I started my career game plan my freshman year by enrolling in a competition developed by Deloitte in an attempt to stand apart from other applicants in such a highly competitive field. It is interesting to hear professors surprised by my interest in tax, which apparently has better job prospects than audit. I am also constantly reassured that I chose a good field and will definitely find a job upon graduation. It is interesting how this mentality has developed in college settings and will be continually perpetuated so long as there are such large gains to being involved in finance related industries. In all honesty I am counting on these gains to pay off my substantial tuition bill. As a result, I do not foresee this pattern of behavior changing any time in the near future.

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    • I agree with Bailey. Knowing how the wage gap plays a role in todays industries it is a crucial thing to take into consideration when 1) Choosing a major in college 2) Thinking what job one will take in the future.

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  4. Like it or not, this is how free enterprise and capitalism work. Yes, it is sad that these highly skilled minds are being herded to the financial industry. BUT it is their choice to chase the money. I suspect that all of us in this class are faced with similar decisions. Unfortunately, when the best and brightest are only motivated by the big paycheck society will undoubtedly suffer in the long run.

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