Another year, another TradeTech, Europe’s largest technology exhibition and conference focused upon the investment markets for the buy and sell side.
I love TradeTech. The smell of money, the buzz of aggressive trading strategies, the master of the universe swagger as you walk round the exhibit hall, the sound of ‘buy, buy, buy’.
More like the sound of bye, bye, bye this year it seems, as lots of workers have been laid off, bonuses cancelled or delayed and a generally sombre atmosphere around the markets.
Or that's the impression my colleague gave me as I arrived here at lunchtime.
Not sure if true, as there’s a good size exhibit hall and attendance list … but yes, there is something missing.
What could it be?
NYSE Euronext are here with a nice big booth.
As are Deutsche Bank.
I’m not so impressed with Merrill Lynch’s exhibit this year.
But it beats Morgan Stanley’s.
Yet there’s something missing.
Sure, the stands are a little less big and brassy, but what would you expect from an industry riding the trough of a downturn?
And no, it’s not punters. There are plenty of those here and they are seriously interested in doing business. That’s why they are here. They just happened to be in the conference as I took my piccies.
I know what’s missing.
Where’s Goldman Sachs?
Oh, I’m told.
They didn’t come because, being one of the only banks paying bonuses and making money, they didn’t want the tyre kickers and wasters on the other bank stands coming begging for jobs.
I should coco.
Such a cynical view and I’m sure it’s not true.
Meantime, I’m off to pick up a few gifts.
A free investment banking team with every order this year I’m told.