On Bloomberg TV this morning Meredith Whitney put it as bluntly as it gets — laid off Wall Streeters need to lower their expectations and take a pay cut. It’s that simple.Obviously this isn’t what anyone wants to hear, but here’s what she said word for word:
“The problem to date has been that those that have been laid off have been sitting on their couches because they do not want to take a downgrade in pay. They are not going back to work and the longer you are out of work, the more difficult it is to get a new job. My advice to them is take what you can get. It is very hard to transfer skills from a high-paying job…so recalibrate your expectations.
As if it could get worse, the famed bank analyst had more dark words for Wall Streeters on top of that. Basically, that more layoffs are coming, especially in investment banking.
“I think the industry goes for another 50,000. We’re already close to 200 deep…Across the board. London is as miserable as New York.”
From Whitney’s perspective, no one is safe — not regional banks, not European banks, not Wall Street banks either. The cost of capital is simply too high and the business can no longer depend on mortgages for leverage.
In terms of what’s going on with big banks, Whitney thinks Citi needs to make some dramatic cuts, while Bank of America and JP Morgan are on the right track.
Still, she told Bloomberg TV, we’re only halfway there.
Watch this video for an analysis of what these lay offs mean:
Produced by Daniel Goodman