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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PMQs review: Jeremy Corbyn turns "the nasty party" back on Theresa May

The Labour leader exploited Conservative splits over disability benefits.

It didn't take long for Theresa May to herald the Conservatives' Copeland by-election victory at PMQs (and one couldn't blame her). But Jeremy Corbyn swiftly brought her down to earth. The Labour leader denounced the government for "sneaking out" its decision to overrule a court judgement calling for Personal Independence Payments (PIPs) to be extended to those with severe mental health problems.

Rather than merely expressing his own outrage, Corbyn drew on that of others. He smartly quoted Tory backbencher Heidi Allen, one of the tax credit rebels, who has called on May to "think agan" and "honour" the court's rulings. The Prime Minister protested that the government was merely returning PIPs to their "original intention" and was already spending more than ever on those with mental health conditions. But Corbyn had more ammunition, denouncing Conservative policy chair George Freeman for his suggestion that those "taking pills" for anxiety aren't "really disabled". After May branded Labour "the nasty party" in her conference speech, Corbyn suggested that the Tories were once again worthy of her epithet.

May emphasised that Freeman had apologised and, as so often, warned that the "extra support" promised by Labour would be impossible without the "strong economy" guaranteed by the Conservatives. "The one thing we know about Labour is that they would bankrupt Britain," she declared. Unlike on previous occasions, Corbyn had a ready riposte, reminding the Tories that they had increased the national debt by more than every previous Labour government.

But May saved her jibe of choice for the end, recalling shadow cabinet minister Cat Smith's assertion that the Copeland result was an "incredible achivement" for her party. "I think that word actually sums up the Right Honourable Gentleman's leadership. In-cred-ible," May concluded, with a rather surreal Thatcher-esque flourish.

Yet many economists and EU experts say the same of her Brexit plan. Having repeatedly hailed the UK's "strong economy" (which has so far proved resilient), May had better hope that single market withdrawal does not wreck it. But on Brexit, as on disability benefits, it is Conservative rebels, not Corbyn, who will determine her fate.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.