Morgan Stanley Joins Goldman Sachs In FirmScaping


Back in August, it was revealed that Goldman Sachs had added a disturbing element to its cost-cutting efforts: plant murder. The lobby philodendrons? Gone. Boston Ferns by the elevator? To the dumpster. The third floor Geraniums that lined the windows? Left for dead.

The While every bank on Wall Street is bracing for serious reductions in staff, compensation and "extras," Goldman had been the only one to date that choose to commit genocide to help its bottom line. Employees were, understandably, shocked by the decision, which reportedly "provoked disquiet at the bank," with some putting their jobs on the line to "block the move, leading to a stand-off between the plant pickers and staff. In some cases, a solution was found only after employees agreed to sign forms guaranteeing to take responsibility for particular plants."

At the time, other institutions scoffed at the seemingly heartless move to save a few bucks, claiming you'd never catch them following suit. And yet? According to the Times, Goldman is not alone.

James P. Gorman, the chief executive of Morgan Stanley, faced questions about plants at a town hall meeting this summer. An employee told Mr. Gorman that he had noticed decidedly less greenery around the office. "Every dollar we don't spend is a dollar available for the bottom line," Mr. Gorman responded.

What could have caused such a drastic decision to remove bush en masse? Are Goldman and Morgan Stanley really the monsters they appear to be vis-a-vis plants, as some in the media would have you believe? Or was the idea born out of a slumber party at Lloyd's, where a frustrated Gorman confessed that he was fresh out of ideas about how to keep shareholders happy, to which LB responded by pulling a recent issue of Cosmo out of his nightstand, with the article "How To Please A Shareholder," and the section penned by an anonymous hedge fund manager re: "loving the sleek sexy look of an investment bank sans bush" highlighted, with the words "try this" in the column? Multiple sources within the firm say it's the latter.

Employees might not like it but you can bet the new look has piqued David Tepper's interest.

Goldman Sachs Draws Up Deeper Cuts [Dealbook]
Earlier: Layoffs Watch ’11: Goldman Sachs’ Philodendrons In The Line Of Fire


Bonus Watch '15: Goldman Sachs > Morgan Stanley > Bank of America

And backing up the rear for bonus across the pond: Société Générale.

Layoffs Watch '12: Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Barclays?

Supposedly summer cuts are under consideration at all firms. Morgan Stanley is planning to eliminate about 100 trading jobs internationally in the next several weeks — with an unknown number of the cuts coming from New York. At Goldman, executives are likely to let the hatchet fall if the slowdown in trading doesn’t reverse itself, bank officials have said...Goldman is already cutting selectively among its middle-management ranks but could cut even deeper, sources explained. Goldman CFO David Viniar has told people that the firm may have to undergo a “right-sizing” again if the markets’ rocky road doesn’t improve, according to sources. And it’s not just Goldman and Morgan. Industry sources said that a number of other firms, including Citigroup and Barclays Capital, may also look to trim staff. [NYP]