With passage of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill appearing to be a lock today, one might expect the mood on Wall Street to be somber. Instead, the financial industry is feeling as though it dodged a bullet, industry recruiters said, pointing to a recent upswing in hiring.
That relief is seen in a whirlwind rally with the Dow up 7 percent in six trading sessions through Tuesday and in the fact that investment bankers and traders are back in demand. If financial overhaul was supposed to spoil the party, it seems as though Wall Street didn’t get the memo.
“The rules change but they don’t end the game,” said Lawrence Kaplan, a Washington, D.C.-based attorney in the bank regulatory practice at the law firm of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker.
The regulatory legislation has drawn sharp criticism from conservatives (too costly, doesn’t address Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae problems) and from the liberals (too toothless) in recent weeks as the finish line came into view. “The banks realize this could have been much worse,” one securities headhunter said. “Hiring, across the board, has taken off, especially relative to 18 months ago,” the recruiter said.