Dreaming of a dark Christmas

Alerted by CEA, I just Googled “layoffs” and the news isn’t encouraging. Credit Suisse is laying off 11% of its workforce and the rest of the industry’s doing no better:

The majority of Credit Suisse’s planned reduction of 11% of its entire workforce, or 5,300 jobs, will target investment banking. That’s a division that includes stock and bond trading, and advisory services such as mergers and initial public offering issuance. Japan’s Nomura Holdings Inc. plans to lay off nearly a quarter of its 4,500 London staffers, in part due to overlap from its purchase of Lehman Brothers’ European equity and investment banking operations.

On Wednesday, Jefferies Group Inc. said it would reduce 13% of its workforce by the end of the year, or about 300 people, with cuts heavier on the investment banking side. Deutsche Bank began handing out pink slips to about 900 workers the same day – about 15% of its global workforce – concentrating on downsizing its global markets division, which includes sales and trading operations.

Last month, Morgan Stanley (MS) announced plans to lay off 2,000 employees globally by year end, or about 5% of its staff, focusing on its institutional securities business, which includes proprietary trading. Those cuts came on top of 4,500 layoffs that have occurred since 2007. Citigroup Inc. (C) made a pre- Thanksgiving announcement that it would shed 50,000 jobs worldwide by early 2009, including 25,000 that have not been laid off yet; combined with an earlier round of layoffs, the financial services giant will have 20% fewer employees than at its peak near the end of 2007.

UBS AG said in October it is exiting its commodities business and cutting back in real estate and securitization, as well as in proprietary trading, a move that will result in 2,000 fewer jobs by the end of the year – on top of nearly 4,000 jobs that have been cut since the firm’s hiring peak in the third quarter of 2007.

Even Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s (GS) employees haven’t been spared; the firm should end the year with 10% fewer employees.

These figures are for world-wide operations but New York is bound to be hit hard. And as New York goes, so goes Greenwich.

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