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Wall St Firms Wield The Axe

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America's battered financial industry has suffered a threefold leap in job cuts during 2007 as mortgage lenders and Wall Street banks slash their payrolls to cope with the summer's credit crunch.

Cutbacks have taken place at Bear Stearns, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse in the last few days alone as blood-letting gathers pace — and there were rumours today of imminent layoffs at Merrill Lynch.

A study published today by a Chicago employment consultancy, Challenger, Gray & Christmas, revealed that in the first nine months of the year, the US financial industry shed 129,927 employees — compared with 34,903 over the same period in 2006 and 41,475 the year before that.

The consultancy's chief executive, John Challenger, warned that the pain was far from over: "The dominoes are likely to keep toppling as home values fall and foreclosures continue to climb.


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