Rock Solid

Rock solid... once upon a time.
Two more Boston financial companies disclosed large rounds of layoffs yesterday, the latest in a wave of cuts sweeping the local investment industry in the wake of plunging stock markets.
It seems to me that these companies, like others before them, understand that this is not just a bad market. Everyone must realign to survive.
State Street Corp. said it plans to eliminate 1,600 to 1,800 positions over the next several months, or about 6 percent of its workforce. Separately, Wellington Management also confirmed a cut, reportedly 10 percent of a 2,100-person workforce.
If we were at bottom now, and these companies were expecting to get back to normal over the next year, they wouldn't be cutting like this, would they? This signals, in my mind, that they're expecting long, tough times.
Fidelity Investments is in the midst of eliminating 3,000 jobs, and MFS Investment Management is cutting about 90. The Chicago staffing firm Challenger Gray & Christmas reported yesterday that financial firms cut 91,356 jobs in November, the largest monthly reduction since September 2001, when 96,333 positions were eliminated.
Even Harvard is squealing.
Harvard University's endowment lost more than $8 billion in four months, a 22 percent plunge that is the steepest decline at the school in modern history. The loss brings the endowment from $36.9 billion on June 30 to roughly $28.7 billion by the end of October. As first reported by Harvard Magazine and the Harvard Crimson, President Drew Faust and Executive Vice President Edward C. Forst outlined the impact of the loss in a letter late Tuesday to the university's deans. "To put a loss of that size in historical context, over the last at least forty years, Harvard’s worst single-year endowment return was a negative 12.2 percent in 1974," the letters reads, "and at that time our endowment stood at less than $1 billion and funded a much less significant proportion of University operations."
Rock solid... no more.