Layoffs Watch '11: Goldman Sachs

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After disappointing earnings with FICC revenues down 63% from last quarter, David Viniar announced on this morning's call that GS expects to complete $1.2 billion in run-rate compensation and non-comp expense reductions by year end. Translation: 1,000 of you are out.


If you can find David Viniar $1.2 billion of savings, he'll call it off

Yes, 1,000 people is the current guess, but DV says that "he reason I mentioned the dollars first is because we're much more focused on the dollars, the savings we'll create, than the number of heads." Which means if you can save him the $1.2 billion then he won't need to fire you. We've seen a start on cost savings from other banks but cutting back on late-night cars isn't going to be enough here, so we need to hear some pretty radical ideas.

Goldman isn't going to cave to Meredith Whitney and start firing people every month just to keep them on their toes

While employees of Goldman and Shake Shack are probably unhappy to hear that there are so many layoffs coming, Whitney is livid that there are so few. She asked "why the target of $1.2 billion is so low - is that the first swipe?" And she's got ideas of her own about who's not pulling their weight, telling Viniar right in front of everyone that Goldman Sachs Asset Management has "been fine, but it hasn't been a shining star," which was cold.

Viniar stood up for his people though. He nixed the "first swipe" idea, since layoffs are painful to do and they don't want to have to do them again. And he defended GSAM, pointing out that it's a business where Goldman isn't in first place so there's room to improve.

If you stay you still get paid

Viniar said that the $1.2 billion in savings will not come from lowering anyone's compensation, but from headcount and related reductions. Looks like comp accrual per employee so far this year, backing out 1,000 unfortunates from the headcount, is about $244,000 through 2Q, down 11% from this time in 2010.

Goldman Sachs Reports Second Quarter Earnings Per Common Share of $1.85 [pdf]

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Layoffs Watch '12: Goldman Sachs

The cuts aren't said to be too significant but good luck telling that to the people who'll no longer be receiving quality Cohn-crotch time. Goldman Sachs, the Wall Street bank that generated 58 percent of first-half revenue from sales and trading, eliminated 20 to 30 jobs in that division this week, according to a person briefed on the matter. The cuts affected salespeople and traders in the U.S., with most taking place in New York, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the reductions aren’t being announced publicly. The decision is part of a continuous review of staffing levels amid difficult markets, the person said. Goldman Sachs Said To Cut More Than 20 In Sales, Trading [Bloomberg]

Layoffs Watch '12: Goldman Sachs

The cuts aren't expected to go too deep but every man, woman, and plant counts. David A. Viniar, Goldman's chief financial officer, said the latest round of belt-tightening by the New York company might include job losses for "a couple of hundred people." By year end, Goldman will reduce total expenses by $500 million on top of about $1.4 billion in cuts since last spring. Goldman To Tighten Belt Further [WSJ] Related: Goldman Sachs’ Philodendrons In The Line Of Fire