商务英语培训：And then there were none
Sep 24th 2008 | NEW YORK
What the death of the investment bank means for Wall Street
THE radical overhaul of Britain’s financial sector in 1986 was dubbed the Big Bang. The brutal, unplanned reshaping of Wall Street might be better described as the Big Implosion. As if too ashamed to go on after the humbling of the country’s mortgage agencies and its largest insurer, the “bulge-bracket” brokerage model has collapsed in on itself. Even more humiliating for the erstwhile masters of the universe, the new force in finance is now the government.
The last remaining investment banks, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, were forced to seek sanctuary by converting into bank holding companies after the trampling of Lehman Brothers turned into a full-scale run on the industry. Though neither was particularly sickly, markets could no longer stomach their potentially lethal combination of illiquid assets and skittish wholesale liabilities.
Both will now start gathering large amounts of deposits, a more stable form of funding. Signing up strong partners should also help. Mitsubishi UFJ, a giant Japanese bank, will buy up to 20% of Morgan. Late on Tuesday September 23rd Goldman went one better, coaxing $5 billion from Warren Buffett, an investing legend. This endorsement helped Goldman to raise a further $5 billion in a share offering the next day.
Mr Buffett, no idle flatterer, describes Goldman as “exceptional”. But some doubt that it can adapt and thrive. As a bank it faces more intrusive supervision from the Federal Reserve, tougher capital requirements and restrictions on investing. Universal banks, such as Citigroup and Bank of America, long dismissed as stodgy, argue that their vast balance sheets and wide range of businesses, from cards to capital markets, give them an edge in trying times. The head of one bank suggests that the golden times enjoyed by investment banks in 2003-06 were an “aberration”, fuelled by a global liquidity glut big enough to hide a multitude of risk-taking sins.