A currency trader works at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Jan. 22, 2016. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
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Charlie Stenger, a currency-broker-turned-recruiter, has seen it all. One fired trader wept in his office. The investment banking business has shed tens of thousands of positions since the end of the financial crisis, and the downsizing has been hard on foreign-exchange desks at many banks, including Morgan Stanley, Barclays PLC and Societe Generale SA.There were 2,300 people working in currency-market front-office jobs at the world's biggest banks in 2014, a 23 percent drop from four years earlier, according to Coalition Development Ltd., an analytics firm.Currency trading in the U.K. and North America shrank by more than 20 percent in October from a year earlier, according to central banks in those regions. London is the biggest center for foreign-exchange trading.Take Virtu Financial Inc. Deploying sophisticated technology in the business, the company's computers can trade more than 11,000 securities and other products on more than 225 trading platforms in 35 countries. Because automation is so deeply ingrained in its business, it had only about 150 employees last year – generating more than $5 million per worker.
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