BULL’S EYE: What’s a bet it’s the end of the equities market?

Business

BULL’S EYE: What’s a bet it’s the end of the equities market?

Fewer listed companies, fewer people willing to play in what they see as a rigged game ... so what comes next?

Jeremy Thomas

A columnist in the Financial Times this week suggested that Deutsche Bank’s plan to cull about 20,000 jobs signalled a fundamental change in the world of investment banking – namely, the terminal decline of listed equities as a capital markets business.

When the news broke at the beginning of July that Deutsche was capitulating, the bank’s share price had fallen 80% in 10 years. Either the bank’s traders were doing a really bad job of making money, or the very market they were toiling in had turned rotten; listed equities themselves had slowly become a bad bet.

Worldwide, the number of listed companies has fallen. We know this in SA, where the JSE’s main board is but a shadow of what it was in the 1970s and 1980s – and the number of unit trust funds long ago overtook the number of publicly traded shares...

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