The unraveling of the financial markets could result in 250,000 layoffs, according to some observers. Citigroup yesterday announced cuts of some 50,000 between now and the end of 2009. There were reports of imminent large layoffs at JPMorgan Chase, and the spate of recent acquisitions is expected to lead to a blizzard of pink slips elsewhere.

New York State attorney general Andrew Cuomo called Citi’s news a “sad and disturbing development for the company,” and made a pitch for C-suite restraint. “At the very least, Citigroup should follow Goldman Sachs' lead and announce quickly that top executives will not be receiving bonuses this year.  Citigroup's stated intention to wait until the new year to make its bonus decisions is a mistake. …Citigroup is, of course, not the only company in this situation. Other companies like AIG, who have received billions in rescue financing from taxpayers, also need to take a hard look in the mirror when determining the right thing to do on executive bonuses during these very difficult economic times.”

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