The decline of trading on Wall Street, explained

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Wall Street used to be full of traders.

Buying and selling stocks or bonds used to happen on the phone, in person or in the packed trading pits in Chicago, New York and London. Prestigious investment banks boasted of trading desks the size of football fields. Now, they’re losing money on trading operations and laying off scores of traders.

Deutsche Bank, Citigroup and Societe Generale are just a few of the big financial firms to announce trading-desk layoffs in recent months.

The shift to electronic trading and passive investing are big culprits behind the trend, squeezing profits in the trading business to razor-thin margins.

Watch the video above to learn more about what’s behind the decline of Wall Street’s lucrative trading profession.