Thursday, September 20, 2012

BofA Shrinks; Goldman Sheds New Hires

Wherever you look, the American financial service sector is retreating.  The decline of US pre-eminence in world finance began with the regulatory overkill of Sarbanes-Oxley legislation in 2002, but the real death blow was the Dodd-Frank Act of 2009.  The future will be in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore.  London may survive this, but that remains to be seen, but New York is definitely fading.  Basically, American financial strength is being legislated into weakness.

You wonder why?  Have stocks done poorly.  On April 24th,1995, a scant 17 years ago, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 4,303.  Yesterday, the DJIA closed at 13,577, about 3 1/2 times as high as the 1995 level.  (This result includes the 2008 financial crash).  Is that bad?  Has the average investor been screwed?  Is this why pension funds are in trouble?  The market hasn't delivered enough?  How much is enough?

Why this rush to destroy American financial pre-eminence?   You wonder how folks will like the slow growth and tepid stock returns of the future thanks to the regulatory overkill that is strangling our financial sector.

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