Morgan Stanley Shutting 300 Branch Offices Due To Declining Order Flow As Investors Sit On Cash

Monday, June 7, 2010
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden

We get a glimpse into the latest leading unemployment indicators courtesy of Fox Biz’ which notifies that Morgan Stanley in addition to previously reported job cuts, will also be shutting another 300 branch offices and cutting as many as 1,200 jobs over the next year in an attempt to reduce overhead. The primary reason for this: “there has been a significant slowdown in small investors turning to brokers to execute orders; many investors are sitting on cash because they are fearful of the recent volatility in the markets. Because of the declining retail order flow, every major brokerage firm will have to cut staff, Morgan even more so because of the overlap from the Smith Barney acquisition.” Apparently promises by the SEC and the quant/HFT community that the May 6 crash will never, ever repeat again are insufficient to placate the investing population which is now justifiably turning its back on equity investments, as seen by last week’s massive ongoing outflow from domestic equity mutual funds. Absent Obama making another March 2009-like appearance discussing attractive “profit and earnings ratios”, we don’t see a material catalyst to change risk perceptions.

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