Stanislaw Carter wrote:
Believe me, I wasn't weighing in on whether or not you cared. You're just expressing yourself in ridiculous generalities: "there's so much happening in the world today that the writing is on the wall." And the "race" for elite US firms to open foreign offices? Not much of a race; this has been happening since the Coolidge administration.
Really? Do you want to count the number of foreign offices opened in the last decade? The last 20 years? Let's compare that to the number of foreign offices opened around the time of the Coolidge administration.
As for the "international flavor" on mega-deals (whatever that means), I'm assuming you're talking about M&A activity? Of the 46 companies involved in the 23 largest mergers and acquisitions last year, 29 were American firms (either the target or acquirer - more often acquirer). http://www.currentpartnering.com/scorecard/manda2010
So what? The fact that foreign companies are so heavily implicated speaks volumes.
As for your theory that the crisis in Libya or the earthquake in Japan are affecting biglaw hiring practices, I'm not even going to dignify that with a response.
I think this is a convenient and cute way for you to say why you're right, but it's really just sophism. But take it from someone who is actually working in the deal pipeline. Being an insider is not really necessary to realize this common sense notion that global events influence liquidity and the capital markets in fundamental ways. Whatever influences such markets influences the financing for deals, and therefore influences M&A. Even aside from M&A, the number of IPOs put on hold even in the last year or so just demonstrates the uncertainty companies feel in the current market. These things influence the work pipeline and therefore influence hiring. You act like hiring partners have a magic ball and know exactly what their needs will be in two years and can determine the size of their summer classes down to a T. Nope. The number will vary constantly.
The fact that 3L hiring is still taking place at many firms is a testament to this (and similarly, the fact that so many firms still no-offered many this past summer is also a testament).
Regarding whether the US is "in decline," I find it pretty shocking that you fail to realize this. That Goldman Sachs analyst coined BRICS for a reason; they're the next super powers and they're rising quickly. It's no surprise that US firms have flocked to open offices in those countries (except for India, mostly because of protectionist legislation).
"The fact that foreign companies are so heavily implicated speaks volumes?" So heavily implicated in worldwide mergers and acquisitions?
So.....American companies being involved in 63% of the 23 largest M&A deals worldwide
last year isn't enough for you, huh? 5% of the world's population and 63% of its M&A activity is evidence of American decline? Think about that.
Look, I appreciate your trying to steer 0Ls in the right direction, because things are bad out there, but your advice is misguided for two reasons. First off, you seem to think that America is the only country in the world in a recession. Shit is bad everywhere, and, by a lot of measures, the recession is hitting BRIC countries harder than it's hitting us, because FDI (on which they rely much more heavily than we) dried up when the credit markets froze.
Second, of course the bolded above is true. But, guess what? It's always
been true. Of course the earthquake in Japan and the unrest in Libya affect oil prices, which in turn increases the cost of capital for many projects/investments and could conceivably go into hiring partners' decisions. But, THIS IS NOT NEWS. In the last decade alone, we've seen the tech bubble collapse, 9/11, two wars in the middle east, Hurricane Katrina, the BP oil spill; the list goes on and on. But, hold on, world, you're not ready for......wait for it......a crisis in Libya and an earthquake in Japan. These are the real x-factors that will leave hiring partners gouging out their eyes from the difficulty in predicting future supply and demand.