The market is different, but the opportunity for humans remains
Bloomberg is out with a story about how fewer people are employed in foreign exchange trading and that more automation is coming.
From 2012 to 2016 the staffs of banks working in foreign exchange were cut by 25%.
But it's important to note who was cut. In many cases it was the sales traders. Instead, clients are being directed to platforms where they can make the trades themselves. It's a trend that's likely to continue.
It means fewer jobs on Wall Street or in the City of London or wherever. That's a shame but it doesn't mean any fewer people are making trading decisions. It puts the power in corporate boardrooms instead.
Alternatively, some of that decision-making is automated. International funds are exchanged into domestic currencies automatically.
That's fine too.
What's not changing is overall volumes. More than $5.1 trillion is trading every day. As long as money is flowing in one direction or another, there will be opportunities for traders. Maybe they won't be in the high-frequency space or maybe there's an emerging edge there.
All it really means is that banks (and bankers) are a smaller part of the equation.