Lost in all the talk of the $700 billion Wall Street bailout -- and how us taxpayers want to make sure those Wall Street fatcats don't float away on golden parachutes packed by the U.S. government -- is the fact that tens of thousands of regular folks in the financial services industry have lost their jobs, and are continuing to lose them. I met with a friend the other day who is in the mortgage business, tied to one of the big Wall Street firms. He's not a fatcat. He also has a wife and two children under three to support. He already lost his own mortgage business due to the bursting of the housing bubble, and was fortunate to find a job with a Fortune 500 player. But as we know now, even those companies aren't safe anymore. He's worried about losing his job again. As Marcia Robinson at BullsEyeResumes writes:
In March 2008 Bloomberg reported over 34,000 job losses had already happended in the financial sector on Wall Street. By March 2008 Lehman Brothers, had already cut 18% of their employees and Merrill Lynch had eliminated 4.5% jobs. Add to that the job losses from Bear Stearns' collapse and fast forward to more job losses when Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy and Merrill Lynch gets acquired by Bank of America... Before we relegate these disappearing jobs to just finance executives on Wall Street, we should know that these job losses go well beyond the boardroom. Think about technology staff, administrative support workers, lawyers and employees who will lose their jobs across all functional sectors like Human Resources, Marketing and Operations... If all the finance pundits and economists are right and jobs will continue to disappear until 2010, folks in the financial sector have to get comfortable with change and hang on for a bumpy ride.
I offered some tips on "life after Wall Street" in a CNBC story that you may wish to check out.