Banking & Capital Markets

Lehman to Slash Investment Banking Staff

Layoffs of 200 would reduce employees in the department by 10 percent, report says.
Sarah JohnsonFebruary 21, 2008

Lehman Brothers Holdings plans to lay off 200 of its investment bankers — 10 percent of that staff — according to a report on CNBC.

A Lehman Brothers spokesman declined to comment to CFO.com about the report.

The news would be the latest sign of damage caused by the mortgage-lending meltdown, and could ignite fears that additional write-downs may loom in the industry. Lehman’s real estate loans have seen declines recently.

Still, the investment banking sector has been getting votes of support from some quarters, including Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox, who said three weeks ago that he was at least comfortable with the level of liquidity at the five largest U.S. investment banks: Lehman, along with Morgan Stanley, Bear Stearns Cos., Merrill Lynch & Co., and Goldman Sachs. “The firms have all been taking steps to increase their liquidity,” Cox said at the time. “We are very comfortable that their positions are strong.”

The CNBC report also said that Merrill Lynch may be planning another round of cuts.