Bloomberg's Matt Levine discusses whether or not higher capital constraints, a talent drain, and new business models have tamed the banks, and whether these trends are enduring or merely cyclical.
The best case that this change might be permanent is just that, by making banking boring, the new rules will bore all the creative geniuses out of banking. If pay is down and "Wall Street is in decline as the career path of choice at elite colleges and business schools," the people who would otherwise be building the next generation of capital-arbitraging synthetic CDOs will go elsewhere and build, like, quant hedge funds or augmented-reality gaming apps or whatever. In the long run, the measure of whether Wall Street has been tamed is not so much about structure as it is about people. If banking attracts people who want to work at conservative utilities, then that's what banks will be.