Bear Stearns Eliminates 650 Jobs

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Bear Stearns is cutting another 650 jobs around the world, the lion's share in the U.S.

The move brings to nearly 1,500 the number of positions axed since the summer - equaling nearly 10 percent of Bear's total headcount at the end of August.

Reuters says the latest cuts impact departments "across the company," including back office jobs in London. The New York Post reports the cuts are focused on Bear's fixed-income division, which is smarting from underwriting billions of dollars of securities backed by sub-prime mortgages.

At the same time, the firm said it will make "strategic hires in growth areas" as it seeks ways to replace revenue being lost in mortgage market, Reuters said.

The news from Bear Stearns comes amidst rumors that Citigroup intends to slash as many as 45,000 jobs. While Citi says it's looking at possible cost cuts, it emphasizes that "any reports on specific numbers are not factual."

According to the Post, Wall Street companies have eliminated about 10,000 jobs so far in 2007, most of them in units involved in making home mortgages and turning them into securities. Morgan Stanley, Merrill, and Credit Suisse are among the firms expected to make layoffs in the next several months, the Post says.

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