As you may have heard, a whole bunch of banks have plans to eliminate jobs in the coming months. While it may be little sympathy to those who've already lost their jobs (cuts have already begun at Goldman Sachs, UBS, Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley), those who were spared or will potentially be spared in upcoming rounds can perhaps appreciate the fact that it could well be worse if the firms performing the bloodletting weren't also cracking down on expenses, thereby saving an employee or two from getting the boot. If you don't think the belt-tightening is having a serious impact on their lives, think again. For many, it's like Greece out there.
Morgan Stanley has begun spelling out the cost of market data services, BlackBerry use, travel and other running expenses to employees, encouraging them to cut back...The austerity measures seem to be having an effect on some traders, who have become more cautious in recent months. "It's tense -- everyone is constantly looking over their shoulder," said one former fixed income trader at a large Wall Street firm who recently moved into a risk-management role. "I'm not expensing lunch, and I'm taking the subway home."
One firm's austerity measures, of course, are other firm's perks. You don't even want to know the things a UBS employee would let you do to his body for a $10 subway pass. An unlimited monthly? Would haunt even the most debased mind's dreams (two HJ's to be redeemed while watching episodes of Hoarders for an express bus plus seven day, if you want the actual figures).