Financial Industry May Shed 350K Jobs

So far, 170,000 positions have been cut worldwide
By Sarah Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 21, 2008 10:23 AM CST
Office workers are silhouetted against the widow of the Lehman Brothers headquarters in New York Sept. 15, 2008.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
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(Newser) – Job cuts in the financial services sector could hit 350,000 worldwide by the middle of 2009, double the number so far, Bloomberg reports. "This is the financial equivalent of World War II," says the CEO of a major headhunting firm. If he's right, by summer, the industry will be 20% smaller than it was before Lehman Brothers and other investment banks started shedding jobs by the thousands.

The new banks—actually Fed-regulated bank holding companies—will look different, Brian Sullivan predicts. "You'll go back to the investment banks of the 1960s and '70s." The risk-averse, less-profitable institutions will focus on advising and research. "The classic investment bankers, advisers, are still going to be in demand,'' Sullivan says. But not so much "the highly quantitative, mathematically oriented product development people.''