Resilience of the US securities industry to the global financial crisis

Dariusz Wójcik*, Theodor F. Cojoianu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The global financial crisis was underpinned by the securitization of subprime mortgages led by US investment banks, and its outbreak was marked by the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers on 15 September 2008. This paper investigates the resilience of the US securities industry to this shock and its evolution between 2008 and 2016, with focus on employment, location, remuneration, sell-side versus buy-side dynamics, and gender. Results show that the US securities industry has suffered significant losses in terms of employment and its recovery has been slow. Under the pressures of depressed demand, new regulation and cost cutting, the industry has gone through significant adaptation in terms of corporate reorganisation, value chain optimisation, market reorientation and innovation, but has not yet adapted in terms of remuneration. The buy-side of the industry has performed much better than the sell-side in terms of resistance and recovery. The patterns of resistance and recovery have been highly uneven across states and cities. While the top of the hierarchy of securities industry centres has not changed significantly in terms of ranking, large centres, with New York in the lead, have suffered larger job losses than smaller centres, reflecting a significant spatial dispersion of employment in the industry. Male employment has proven more resilient than female employment highlighting continued gender inequality and lack of diversity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-194
Number of pages13
Early online date13 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - May 2018


  • asset management
  • financial centres
  • financial crisis
  • gender
  • investment banking
  • restructuring


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