Officials at JP Morgan Chase have launched a major round of layoffs in the firm’s vaunted investment banking department, axing dozens of executives in an attempt to downsize the unit amid a massive slowdown in business. People at the firm say at least two hundred executives were laid off over the past two days – a move unrelated to the firm’s recent purchase of Bear Stearns. A spokeswoman for JP Morgan confirmed the cuts and said many of the people leaving were junior bankers. Most firms have been cutting between 5 percent and 10 percent of their staff; the JP Morgan cuts may run deeper even though the bank hasn’t been stung as hard as other firms with losses related to investments in subprime bonds. And JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon is looking to cut even deeper into other areas of the firm’s workforce to reflect both the soured business conditions as well the addition of employees following the Bear Stearns purchase.
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