Wall Street Secretly Firing Tens of Thousands

Since last summer, Wall Street banks have announced 65,000 planned firings with more sure to come. It’s one thing to be layed off, but it’s another to be “stealth” fired.

Some Lehman Brothers’ employees, for example, learned their fates by “receiving a notice re COBRA benefits and monthly costs”. And Lehman’s hardly the only firm with innovative termination practices. NYT:

Some bosses hardly say a word after people are fired. At Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, for example, the first clue that someone is gone can be e-mail messages that are returned to senders from a former colleague’s inactivated corporate address…

Some JPMorgan employees learned that people from Bear Stearns would get their jobs before the bosses said anything. JPMorgan clients told them first.

Some Lehman Brothers investment bankers found out their jobs were in peril when they saw cardboard boxes and dumpster bins in the hallways in March.

And when Bank of America dismissed some bankers recently, it told them that their annual bonuses had been almost wiped out and that their personal belongings would arrive in the mail…

And, of course, for those who are actually informed in the traditional fashion that they’re history, there’s the famous Wall Street lock-out. Want to return to your desk and say goodbye to your mates? Forget about it.

At some banks like Bank of America, many laid-off employees are not allowed to return to their desks, because the banks fear departing employees will try to take valuable colleagues or clients with them.

Things have gotten so bad that many bankers who have kept their jobs are so nervous about being the next casualty that they aren’t even helping their fired colleagues find new work–because they may need the jobs.

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