Morgan Stanley has now issued a full recession alert for the US economy, and the squeeze in the financial markets continues to result in job losses and cost containment initiatives - for some.
In the meantime, Citi's newly-installed CEO Vikram Pandit has confirmed that he plans to conduct a review of all Citi business units. He said that 'I will undertake an objective and dispassionate review of all the businesses, individually and in aggregate, to make sure we are properly postioned for the future'. Pandit also indicated that 'nothing is off the table, and confirmed that he would undertake the review 'objectively and dispassionately'. He wouldn't be drawn on timing, however, saying that 'you've got to give me some time to go through due process'.
Pandit is an interesting choice as CEO by Citi (although some say that he was the only one left who actually wanted the job!). The Financial Times quotes Pandit's former Morgan Stanley boss, Phillip Purcell, who qualified his praise for Citi's new man, saying 'he is smart. He is a capable executive, and I think he is up to the challenge. You are not going to take him to the locker room for a half-time speech, but if you want to know what offence to run, he is your guy'. A man who has never run a public company is now boss of the world's largest financial services group and its 370,000 employees.
In the meantime, The Wall Street Journal reports that UBS has already cut 1,400 of the planned 1,500 investment banking staff it announced would go a few weeks back. So, if you work over there and are still in a job, the odds are that you will probably be OK (at least this time round). After announcing a further $10bn in asset write-downs Monday, Marcel Rohner, the bank's CEO, said that he will now ensure that UBS focuses on improving efficiency and will review its risk profile. Rohner said that 'this means a repositioning of our fixed income business'.
The Daily Telegraph reports that CIBC World Markets is axing 60 London-based staff in debt capital markets and leveraged finance. The news comes hot on the heels of rumours that Dresdner Kleinwort is axing 200 staff, including 60 in fixed income. Others are likely to lose their jobs in the coming weeks. The newspaper also says that the firm is thought to have embarked on an informal expenses-cutting exercise, with costs for taxis, mobile phones, travel and entertainment thought to be under the microscope.
The Wall Street Journal reports that, following the successful RBS-led consortium bid for ABN AMRO, the Dutch bank's international equity capital markets joint venture with Rothschild has come to an end. Half the staff are thought to have already left. And Reuters reports that Fortis has cut jobs at its New York-based structured credit unit. 14 of the unit's 24 staff are said to have been let go due to the credit crunch.
Finally, it's not all bad news (at least for some). The New York Post reports that, according to a US regulatory filing, Lehman Brothers CEO Richard Fuld was awarded $35m in stock for his efforts in 2007. And The Guardian says that up to 3,000 Barclays Capital bankers are getting ready to party in a marquee erected at Victoria Tower Gardens, close by the Houses of Parliament. Festivities are said to be taking place over two days, and are thought to be costing a cool $1.2m.