Merrill Lynch began a round of layoffs this morning: The dismissals reportedly kicked off at 7 a.m. on the trading floor, according to Wall Street news blog Dealbreaker.
CNN’s Charlie Gasparino reported last week that Merrill planned around 1,600 layoffs following additional enormous mortgage-related write-downs in the fourth quarter. Analysts estimate a fourth-quarter loss of around $11.5 billion. In the third quarter, Merrill recorded the worst loss in it’s 93-year history of $2.3 billion, due largely in part from $7.9 billion in write-downs related to exposure to sub-prime mortgages and collateralized debt obligations (CDOs).
But if you’re in Global Wealth Management you probably don’t have too much to worry about. Gasparino said the layoffs are likely to be concentrated in the trading division, not in the firm’s private banking or Global Wealth Management operations. Besides GPC enjoyed robust earnings in third quarter and is expected to demonstrate further healthy performance in the fourth quarter.A Merrill spokesperson could not be reached for comment.