Merrill (MER) and Bank of America (BAC) To Fire 20,000+ Employees

Merrill Lynch (MER) and Bank of America (BAC) are committed to finding $7 billion in “synergies.” What is “synergies” a code word for? Firings.

How many people, specifically? About 23,000, in our estimation.

Let’s assume that half of that $7 billion is people. Let’s further assume an average all-in cost-per-head of $150,000 per year.

Voila: 23,000

Total Desired “Synergies”: $7 billion
Estimated People Cost: $3.5 billion
Estimated Cost Per Person: $150,000
Estimated Firings: 23,333

Merrill CEO and BOFA heir apparent John Thain confirmed the $7 billion number in Dubai today:

Merrill Lynch & Co Inc (NYSE:MERNews) Chief Executive John Thain said he expects thousands of job cuts after the company is acquired by Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BACNews), Bloomberg News reported on Monday.

Most of the losses will be in information technology, operations, and finance, but jobs won’t be eliminated in fixed income and commodities, Thain said in a television interview in Dubai with the news service.

“We haven’t mapped it out in terms of actual number of people, but we are committed to saving $7 billion across the combined platforms, and that will be a challenge,” Thain said. “Between our two companies, it will be clearly thousands of jobs.”

Make that tens of thousands.

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