1,600 jobs go at Morgan Stanley

Latest bank to cut back.

Morgan Stanley is about to cut 1,600 jobs in an effort to cut costs.

This is about 6 per cent of the total headcount at the targeted section of the bank - the institutional securities group - which raises money for corporate lending and mergers.

Here's the FT:

Morgan Stanley will begin informing employees affected by the job cull in the coming days and weeks. A large slice of the trimmed positions will include highly paid senior bankers from the ranks of managing directors and executive directors.

Pay and bonuses for bankers “comes down because the amount of people in the business comes down,” Mr Gorman said in the FT interview in October.

Even with the additional cost-cutting, Morgan Stanley is targeting a much more modest return on equity than the pre-crisis levels of as much as 23 per cent. RoE is a key measure of a bank’s ability to make money for its shareholders.

“We’re generating 5 per cent, can we get back to 10 per cent? That’s much more interesting to me than can we get back to 15 per cent or will we ever get back to the glory days – those are completely flawed anyway,” said Mr Gorman.

We've already seen cuts at UBS, Citigroup, Deutsche bank and Credit Suisse  - and Morgan Stanley seems the latest in the series. The cost-saving measures have followed new regulations that have restricted the banks' activities.

Morgan Stanley will cut 1,600 jobs. Photograph: Getty Images
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Theresa May knows she's talking nonsense - here's why she's doing it

The Prime Minister's argument increases the sense that this is a time to "lend" - in her words - the Tories your vote.

Good morning.  Angela Merkel and Theresa May are more similar politicians than people think, and that holds true for Brexit too. The German Chancellor gave a speech yesterday, and the message: Brexit means Brexit.

Of course, the emphasis is slightly different. When May says it, it's about reassuring the Brexit elite in SW1 that she isn't going to backslide, and anxious Remainers and soft Brexiteers in the country that it will work out okay in the end.

When Merkel says it, she's setting out what the EU wants and the reality of third country status outside the European Union.  She's also, as with May, tilting to her own party and public opinion in Germany, which thinks that the UK was an awkward partner in the EU and is being even more awkward in the manner of its leaving.

It's a measure of how poor the debate both during the referendum and its aftermath is that Merkel's bland statement of reality - "A third-party state - and that's what Britain will be - can't and won't be able to have the same rights, let alone a better position than a member of the European Union" - feels newsworthy.

In the short term, all this helps Theresa May. Her response - delivered to a carefully-selected audience of Leeds factory workers, the better to avoid awkward questions - that the EU is "ganging up" on Britain is ludicrous if you think about it. A bloc of nations acting in their own interest against their smaller partners - colour me surprised!

But in terms of what May wants out of this election - a massive majority that gives her carte blanche to implement her agenda and puts Labour out of contention for at least a decade - it's a great message. It increases the sense that this is a time to "lend" - in May's words - the Tories your vote. You may be unhappy about the referendum result, you may usually vote Labour - but on this occasion, what's needed is a one-off Tory vote to make Brexit a success.

May's message is silly if you pay any attention to how the EU works or indeed to the internal politics of the EU27. That doesn't mean it won't be effective.

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to British politics.

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