By Courtney Comstock | Business Insider | Jun. 27, 2011
Goldman Sachs is going to fire employees in the U.S. and some other countries so that it can hire 1,000 in Singapore, where it's cheaper.
Charlie Gasparino heard the news from people who were briefed on the hiring in Washington. He says Goldman gave Washington the heads up because hiring offshore is likely to cause a backlash.
He didn't give a specific timeline, or say which units would be hit, but here's what's going to happen, according to Gasparino:
Goldman is so concerned about the potential for criticism that the firm’s representatives have been alerting staffers of lawmakers in Washington of the hiring spree in recent weeks as a way to mollify any concerns they may have about previously undisclosed plans to add 1,000 jobs to the firm’s Singapore office, according to people in Washington with direct knowledge if the matter...
The jobs in Singapore are likely to be “high-paying, skilled positions in sales and investment banking,” the same types that are likely to be cut in the firm’s domestic operations, according to one person with knowledge of the matter. This person added that the firm has recently briefed people in Washington about the new overseas jobs because it “is afraid of the fallout” as it plans to slash $1 billion in costs over the next year — a move that will mean a significant, though still undetermined number of layoffs across its operations, though people close to the firm expect the biggest hit to come from the US.
The layoffs come at an interesting time. Banks are fighting tough regulations like capital requirements that they say will stem growth. Preparation for the regulations require banks to free up capital -- like the $1 billion Goldman plans to slash in the coming year.
Goldman's planned layoffs and offshore hiring are exactly the opposite of what Washington wants of course. Unemployment is already too high. And offshore hiring that's a result of something the government is requiring will result in headlines that look bad for both Goldman and Washington.
So this news of the adverse effects that capital requirements will have on employment at Goldman Sachs should help the bankers' as they argue against the requirements in coming months. That's why this looks like a political move to discourage Washington from adding capital requirements above the 7% that Basel III regulations will enforce.