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Citigroup Prepares To Cut 53,000 Jobs

NPR' Jim Zarroli reports on the Citigroup layoffs on 'Morning Edition'

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Citigroup Inc., the nation's second-largest banking company, announced Monday it will slash about 53,000 jobs worldwide in an effort to stem losses and retrench amid the global financial crisis.

The cuts, expected in the near term, would come on top of the roughly 23,000 jobs New York-based Citigroup already eliminated between January and September, leaving the bank with about 300,000 jobs worldwide — down 20 percent from the end of 2007.

Cuts are expected from layoffs, the sale of units and attrition.

The bank also said it will slash expenses 20 percent from peak levels and spend $50 billion to $52 billion in 2009, compared with $59.8 billion in 2007.

The plans were posted early Monday on the company's Web site. They are also being discussed by Citigroup Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit at the company's town hall meeting in New York Monday with employees.

Citigroup reported a loss of $2.8 billion during the third quarter and has seen its share price plummet. Last week, Citigroup stock fell into the single digits for the first time since Sanford "Sandy" Weill created the bank in 1998 from the merger of Travelers Group Inc. and Citicorp.

Chairman Win Bischoff said at a business forum in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, that Citigroup was forced to look at staffing levels in light of the recent severe downturn in the financial sector.

"What all of us have done — and perhaps injudiciously — we've added a lot of people over ... this very benign period," Bischoff said.

Citigroup lost more than $20 billion in the past year, hurt by bad bets on complex and risky debt, often tied to mortgages.

From wire reports

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