Citi Ups the Layoff Ante

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Citigroup became the latest global bank to slash thousands of jobs. This week it began layoffs of "at least 10,000" employees in its investment bank and other divisions throughout the world, The Wall Street Journal reports Friday.

The layoffs affect the investment banking and wealth management divisions, plus human resources, compliance and legal departments throughout the company. And the story indicates the latest round could be just phase one in a deeper program to shrink Citi's workforce by some 60,000 positions by next year.

Unnamed sources told the Journal that Chief Executive Vikram Pandit and his lieutenants ordered managers to cut compensation budgets by at least 25 percent in this round. "Managers can minimize the number of employees they fire by dismissing higher-paid traders and bankers," the paper observes. A Citi spokeswoman acknowledged the workforce is being reduced, but didn't comment on the reported numbers.

The bank reportedly has eliminated about 23,000 jobs in the past year. It employed 352,000 as of Sept. 30.

The story also says that top Pandit and other top executives bought a total of 1.2 million Citigroup shares late Thursday, after shareholders had pressed for a "show of faith in the company."

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