JPMorgan Said to Downsize Investment Bank

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JPMorgan reportedly has begun slashing as much as 20 percent of its investment banking work force.

"People at the firm say at least 200 executives were laid off over the past two days - a move unrelated to the firm's recent purchase of Bear Stearns," CNBC reported. A company spokeswoman told the network that JPMorgan employs "as many as" 1,000 executives within its investment banking unit. CNBC's story apparently misuses the word "executive," however, since it also quotes the JPM spokeswoman saying many of those laid off were "junior bankers."

The steepest cuts, running as high as 50 percent of the work force, are said to have fallen on the mergers and acquisitions department, according to CNBC.

The latest reported layoffs are in line with a Reuters report two weeks ago that in addition to roughly 2,000 JPMorgan employees expected to be displaced to make room for Bear Stearns "keepers," an additional 1,000 to 2,000 JPMorgan positions were targeted for elimination because of the slowdown in investment banking activity and credit market crisis.