Thursday, June 22, 2017

Euro 120,000.00

That's the estimated cost of Nomura's "Platinum" Research!  Your firm pays US$ 200k per annum to hear all the best bits out of Nomura -- granted I like Bob Janjuah, he's not only a friend but a brilliant tactician.   Still $200k seems a lot.

Obviously, the real change in the analyst business in Europe (as the Jan 3, 2018 rules are to take effect) is going to have one massive impact -- the business of analyst is going to shed about 95% of its workforce.

I've said this before, most research is useless -- it used to be that you would get good data analytics -- but these days you get the same stuff of Bloomberg's basic plan so there is really no reason for that. Analyst get nothing more than you can, should you choose to listen to CEO's pronouncements, and read the company's filings.  Finally, and this is the kicker, most investors are closet indexers anyway (thinking of you Fidelity...).  So the impact of the new rule will be a massive reduction on the number of analysts in Europe -- and you can bet that the Americans are going to do the same thing when they realize that their research has zero value!

The US Bureau of labor statistics says (2014) that there are somewhat more than 250,000 analysts (avg salary $80k) -- I can see nearly 3/4 losing their jobs -- in Europe the number has to be equal so all told there are 500,000 analysts in Europe and North America, I can see about 400,000 redundancies plus about another 100,000 support staff.  That would translate into a US$ 3 to 4 billion savings for banks -- that certainly going to help bottom lines (a little).

In a sense, the new European rules are doing something the banks could not do themselves -- they could not afford to shut down their analysts departments, for while they were a loss leaders, they provided some bragging rights (#1 analyst in this or that), and could not be the first to say no more! Now, they can cut to the bone since their justification is that the market is no longer ready to pay for this drivel (some stats indicate that less than 1% of all published research was read -- I find that figure overinflated).  Although the banks are bitching in reality it allows them to justify real cost savings.

Are there more cost savings, yes a lot, some of these cost savings will be passed on to customers, some will arise from new financial products.


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