Drop in Complex Deals Pressures Jobs

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The drop in complex debt securities deal volume is adding to the pressure on headcounts among investment banks.

The Financial Times reports declining volume - during the first quarter, volume hit a 10-year low - "has implications for the banks that have already taken multi-billion dollar write-downs on their exposure to mortgage-backed collateralised debt obligations that remained on their balance sheets." While the situation has already taken its toll, the newspaper said job losses "are only expected to increase in the months to come."

The FT puts the current toll in headcount at 34,000 jobs lost so far among large investment banks, and expects at least another 20,000 people to lose their slots, as well. That's doesn't include the estimated 7,000 people from Bear Stearns who'll lose their jobs as part of the bank's sale to JPMorgan Chase.

Many mortgage securitization specialists have held onto their jobs "only to help their employers sort through the wreckage." They'll probably go once that work is done, the paper says.

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