Here's a little more on the end of the financial industry's salad days.
JP Morgan announced smaller third-quarter earnings this week, mainly because of lower commodity prices, lower mortgage income and more than $1 billion in legal expenses.
But it's also slimming down on purpose to avoid new federal regulations that would essentially punish it for being too big.
The first thing to go? The BlackBerrys. The Wall Street Journal reports more employees will have to pay for their own. There's also going to be more desk-sharing between employees that work opposite shifts. JP Morgan will also start cracking down on stays in five-star hotels — now you'll need a manager to sign off on that room at the St. Regis.
All of this is on top of layoffs, moving to cheaper offices, dropping voicemail and so on. This all adds up to a 6 percent drop in JP Morgan's expenses for the year, according to one analyst, down to $57.67 billion.
And JP Morgan isn't alone. The Journal notes that U.S. Bancorp Chief Richard Davis is wondering aloud about cutting big meetings and paper use. Bank of America has been closing branches — i'ts down a fifth from its peak in 2009 — and laying people off in their trading and investment units.
Still, finance guys without their BlackBerrys. Rough.
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