Antony Jenkins, CEO, Barclays told CNBC "The combination of much greater capital allocation towards FICC activities and the state of the economy with the end of Quantitative Easing means that the outlook for FICC is quite challenged. We believe that will persist for a number of years, which is why now is the right time to reposition the investment bank."
Read MoreBarclays CEO defends plans as 19,000 jobs cut
Even those on the front line in emerging markets selling fixed income to new clients and younger markets note the industry is not what it used to be. But is the bloodletting short term, much like what happened post financial crisis to equities? Equities have returned with gusto in the past year and bolstered industry profits.
Bryn Jones, Head of Fixed Income, Rathbone Brothers said the cost of holding capital is much higher for banks so the inventory of bonds to trade is about 10 percent of what it was in 2006. "Liquidity has collapsed, there are not as many bonds to access as before. So do you need as many specialists when the industry is just matching trades?"
Jones said the industry now has a "buy and hold" mentality in bonds because there simply isn't the same liquidity.
Others describe the industry onslaught as both structural and cyclical. Blackrock's Deputy CIO of Fixed Income Scott Thiel said Bank of England and Federal Reserve purchases of gilts and treasurys represent a third of their individual markets, bonds - which are unlikely to come bank into circulation. Thiel added deleveraging of the European banking sector has reduced senior bond issuances.
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Larry Hatheway, chief economist at UBS Investment Bank identified structural problems caused by increased regulation but warned shrinking returns will further erode the appeal of bonds. "There are cyclical issues ahead when yields rise again, today's yields are unsustainable."