The big broker-banks are preparing to lay off as much as 15 percent of their workforce as the economic slowdown continues to pound Wall Street, CNBC has learned.
As the remaining investment banking companies look to clean up the damage from the credit crisis, thousands of employees will pay the price through pink slips that could come before the end of the year, senior sources on Wall Street said.
Some of the biggest hits will come at Merrill Lynch, where 10,000 employees could be jettisoned as a result of the merger with Bank of America.
Barclay's purchase of Lehman Brothers' investment banking unit also will mean layoffs, while lack of merger and acquisitions and initial public offerings is hitting Morgan Stanley hard. Morgan could lay off 15 percent of its work force.
Even the more stable companies, including Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase will get hit. Goldman is looking at at least 10 percent and maybe 15 percent of its workforce, with similar numbers likely at JPMorgan.