Investment banks weigh cuts

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So far, investment banks have used the downturn as a convenient excuse to weed out small numbers of bankers who weren't making the grade. But the depth and length of the US economic slowdown will determine whether this selective surgery will eventually turn into a full-fledged bloodletting.

To date in 2001, Goldman Sachs has let go about 650 people world-wide, 200 of whom worked in Europe Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB), a unit of Credit Suisse Group, laid off at least 300, including 120 in London JP Morgan Chase let go roughly 200 in London and Bear Stearns last week said it intended to cut 400 employees.

Still many banks continue to hire, including heavy hitters. UBS Warburg plans to increase its investment banking staff in the US by 23% this year Around ten days ago, it lured James Neissa from CSFB to be co-head of mergers and acquisitions in the Americas.