Citigroup, Lehman Brothers and Bank of America, as has been reported previously in this blog, have been hit the hardest thus far. Combined, the three firms have eliminated more than 14,000 employees. Some insiders say this is only the beginning.
Bloomberg quotes Jo Bennett, a partner at executive search firm Battalia Winston International in New York, as saying, "This crisis is much worse than 2001 and we don't know how long it's going to last." Bennett estimates that cuts "could be more than 100,000 in a few years."
However, others believe that the latest round layoffs won't reach those levels. According to Gustavo Dolfino, president of New York-based executive search firm Whiterock Group LLC, instead of laying off employees, some banks have been "moving lower-ranked staff from the U.S. to Asia, where they need more hands."
It looks like it won't be long before the latest wave of cuts on Wall Street surpasses those that came in the wake of the dot-com bust. Yesterday, Bloomberg News reported that since July, Wall Street firms have laid off more than 34,000 employees (which doesn’t include the estimated 7,000 at Bear Stearns who will soon be out of work). According to the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, 39,800 jobs were cut after the Internet bubble burst, and within two years of the bust, that figure rose to 90,000.