Investment Bankers Getting Maudlin About The Good Old Days

Like 1995, when the IPO market wasn't the flaming slag heap it is today.
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Expect more bell ringings like this. By The Central Intelligence Agency (Director Petraeus rings NY Stock Exchange bell) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

via Wikimedia Commons

Because in the days of dirt-cheap financing and block trades, they may never be coming back.

So far this year, banks have taken in just $3.7 billion in fees from U.S.-listed equity deals, which besides initial public offerings include share sales for companies that are already public and convertible-debt issues, according to Dealogic data this week.

That’s the lowest since 1995, when the business generated $2.6 billion up to this point in the year, or $4.1 billion after adjusting for inflation.

In other words, actually worse than ’95 so far, but the Journal’s charts don’t go back any further, so who knows how much worse? According to the newspaper, however, the stock-selling people are worried they've seen the last of the likes of the year 2000. Which has some people saying it might be time to start renovating the equity capital markets desks.

“The capital-markets businesses on Wall Street are all the wrong size,” said Mr. Hintz, a former longtime Wall Street bank analyst. “It’s a business with too many players in it. Prices have been pushed down to levels that don’t always pay for the lights.”

Wall Street’s IPO Business: The Worst in 20 Years [WSJ]

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