Is Wall Street on Crack With Its Wave of Hiring?

Despite widespread fears of a "double dip" recession, Wall Street is hiring again in droves, a sign that the financial industry anticipates a strong economic recovery. According to The New York Times, New York securities firms have added 2,000 new jobs since February, underscoring the tremendous recovery of the financial sector since the crash in 2008 and the subsequent bailout of faltering banks. Rae Rosen, a regional economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York told The Times, "Wall Street typically hires in anticipation of the recovery, and there is a sense that the economy has bottomed out and is slowly improving."

But this hiring comes at the same time as many indications that the recovery may be faltering. "Double dip" has become the word du jour, with everyone from economists to investors speculating about whether the economy might lose steam and dip back into a recession. The job market outside of Wall Street is still weak, having shed 125,000 non-farm jobs in June. Housing data, while temporarily boosted in the spring by government tax credits, has slowed again. The threat of a double dip last week sent investors rushing to money markets, and a recent poll indicated that many think a double dip is imminent.
Liberal economists like Paul Krugman and Nouriel Roubini have also been very vocal in their prophesies of economic woes. Nobel laureate and Big Think expert Krugman says that the recent warming of the economy does not herald a full recovery, noting that both previous depressions in American history included periods of growth. "We are now, I fear, in the early stages of a third depression," he wrote in his Times column, calling for a second government stimulus package. NYU professor Nouriel Roubini—known as Dr. Doom for having predicted the 2008 crisis—doesn't expect another dip immediately, but he worries about another bubble. Unless robust financial reforms are made, he predicts there is a "high likelihood" that we will face another crash in 2 or 3 years
A financial regulatory reform bill is currently on the floor of the Senate, having already passed the House, and it is been touted as the most sweeping financial reform since the Great Depression. But Wall Street opposes this reform, having lobbied hard against many of the provisions included in the bill. Yet some stringent reforms remain, like regulations on derivatives trading. Final passage of the bill has been delayed by the death of Senator Byrd of West Virginia, but Democrats expect it will be signed into law within weeks. 
So why is Wall Street so bullish? 
Big Think Edge
  • The meaning of the word 'confidence' seems obvious. But it's not the same as self-esteem.
  • Confidence isn't just a feeling on your inside. It comes from taking action in the world.
  • Join Big Think Edge today and learn how to achieve more confidence when and where it really matters.
Videos
  • Prejudice is typically perpetrated against 'the other', i.e. a group outside our own.
  • But ageism is prejudice against ourselves — at least, the people we will (hopefully!) become.
  • Different generations needs to cooperate now more than ever to solve global problems.


Active ingredient in Roundup found in 95% of studied beers and wines

The controversial herbicide is everywhere, apparently.

(MsMaria/Shutterstock)
Surprising Science
  • U.S. PIRG tested 20 beers and wines, including organics, and found Roundup's active ingredient in almost all of them.
  • A jury on August 2018 awarded a non-Hodgkin's lymphoma victim $289 million in Roundup damages.
  • Bayer/Monsanto says Roundup is totally safe. Others disagree.
Keep reading Show less

Scientists see 'rarest event ever recorded' in search for dark matter

The team caught a glimpse of a process that takes 18,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years.

Image source: Pixabay
Surprising Science
  • In Italy, a team of scientists is using a highly sophisticated detector to hunt for dark matter.
  • The team observed an ultra-rare particle interaction that reveals the half-life of a xenon-124 atom to be 18 sextillion years.
  • The half-life of a process is how long it takes for half of the radioactive nuclei present in a sample to decay.
Keep reading Show less