Steven Schonfeld of Schonfeld Securities announced today in a tear-jerker of a letter that he will be firing 50 Traders, roughly 15% of all Traders currently employed at the firm, over the next 6-12 months. The letter sounds a bit like the waving of a white flag, as Schonfeld expresses deep concern and uncertainty with regard to the future of prop trading:
"Bull and bear markets come and go. Good trading markets come and go. But unfortunately, our vision of the future of trading has changed. It is getting much tougher for traders to make a living or get by. The direct competition from black boxes, stat arb and high frequency trading which continues to grow at exponential rates is here to stay."
Is there any future in old school point-and-click trading? Schonfeld has been a leader in the arena for decades and I don't know what hope is left if they're on the verge of calling it quits. Looks like the robots win again.