Easy Street: Mysterious Vague Layoff Pandemic Hits Wall Street

Easy Street is our daily roundup of the most interesting news stories and commentary about Wall Street, Washington and the curious world of finance. You can see more of what we think are the biggest stories of the day on our News in Brief page. Every day, you can download Marketplace's daily show on iTunes and follow us for more headlines at twitter.com/mktplaceradio. If you want to listen to Marketplace on the radio, find your local station and time here.

Banking & Finance

Layoffs are slowly creeping into Wall Street's plans at banks like Morgan Stanley - which is laying off brokers - and Barclays, which is reducing its global team that analyzes and sells stocks. In both cases, the banks say that the layoffs are unrelated to declining revenue. Veterans of the Street may find that hard to believe; layoffs unrelated to revenue usually occur across a bank, not in one or two units. Still, it's hard to tell why heads would be getting chopped now, in the middle of the year: regulatory reform has not yet taken place, so that's not a plausible pressure on earnings. The Fed has maintained enormous help for the markets through its program of buying up Treasury bonds to keep interest rates down. True, banks may be worried about what will happen to the stock market when QE2 ends.

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The Economy

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Politicians & Regulation

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Recreational Reading

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About the author

Heidi N. Moore is The Guardian's U.S. finance and economics editor. She was formerly the New York bureau chief and Wall Street correspondent for Marketplace.

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