Merrill (MER): 50% Bonus Cuts; 30,000 Layoffs?


Given the wreckage, this doesn’t sound too bad for Merrill Lynch (MER) folks. Bloomberg reports that bonuses will likely go down about 50% this year:

Merrill Lynch & Co. plans to cut year- end bonuses in half after more than $20 billion of losses that forced the U.S. securities firm to sell itself to Bank of America Corp., two people with knowledge of the situation said.

The average bonus reduction will be about 50 per cent at the New York-based company, and some traders and investment bankers will face steeper cuts, said the people, who declined to be identified because the plans aren’t public. While employees won’t find out their bonuses until later this month, division managers are being told now how much they’ll get to distribute.

However, the article notes, bonus cuts for key positions, like traders may be more severe, while the rank and file will see reductions of 10%-45%.

Meanwhile, CNBC is reporting that total layoffs at Bank of America (BAC) once the deal goes through could actually be as high as 30,000. That number was pegged at just 10,000 earlier this week. No wonder was blocked at Merrill (joke!).