What is ‘capture by employees’?
In this past week’s January 26th issue of The Economist, the phrase capture by employees appears in a leading article* titled “The Humbling of Goldman Sachs” in this surrounding context:
Goldman’s struggles point to several lessons. One is that it still excels, but in a bad industry. Investment banking combines the drawbacks of a regulated activity (capital requirements and red tape) with the vices of a speculative one (volatility and capture by employees). The firm says it has become more disciplined on pay but last year forked out $15bn, its second-highest salary and bonus bill since the financial crisis, even as profits halved to $11bn and the firm barely beat its cost of capital. The real action in finance is outside regulated banking, where a new cohort of stars rules, including Blackstone in private markets, BlackRock in index funds, and Citadel, an investing and trading house that made its clients $16bn in 2022.
Is capture by employees something held by employees but not in favor of the employer?
Or does it mean that the employee took a cut from a deal?
A leading article or leader is the British English equivalent of an editorial or opinion column in North America. The paywalled OED glosses it as
One of the longer large-type articles in a newspaper, appearing as the expression of editorial opinion on any subject; a leader.