Japanese financial-services group Nomura, in its late September purchase of bankrupt Lehman Brothers’ European and Asian divisions, is one institution willing to invest new money in the future of high global finance. So how does one key Nomura figure perceive that future?
Says the FT, after speaking with Sadeq Sayeed, the new executive vice chair of Nomura International and the head of the firm’s new businesses:
His model is predicated on the view that the investment banking model that took hold from 1998 to 2007 was ‘a flash in the pan.’ Mr. Sayeed reckons that the bail-out of [American hedge fund Long Term Capital Management] in 1998 led to a culture of moral hazard that saw leverage increasing in every corner of the financial system. The future, then, will be a return to a past when banks are very careful about how they use their balance sheets …, helping companies finance themselves but acting only as intermediaries. … Independent advisory firms will also flourish.
That “flash in the pan” business model was the basis for New York City’s extraordinary, never-before-seen growth in tax revenue, up 41 percent after inflation between 2000 and 2007. The city’s adjustment to the new, old Wall Street may be just as painful as the industry’s.