The Wall Street Diet

Photo: Alamy

Sometimes even $400 zillion trillion* in taxpayer bailouts isn’t enough to keep your industry out of the ditch. Times are hard right now for big banks, which are not just cutting bonuses and staff but also vigorously nickel-and-diming their junior masters of the universe.

I. Cutting Perks:
Belt-tightenings in order of soul-crushing-ness.

Coffee-Cup Size
Goldman Sachs
Was: 12 oz.
Now: 10 oz.

Cafeteria Transactions
Goldman Sachs
Were: Cash or charge
Now: Charge only

Late-Night Amenities
Barclays (London office)
Were: Food paid for after 8 p.m., cars after 9 p.m.
Now: Food after 9 p.m., cars after 10 p.m.

Offsite Bonding
Bank of America municipal-bond department
Was: Country club + sports + kegs
Now: Doesn’t happen

Deutsche Bank
Were: Business class everywhere
Now: Economy on trips less than six hours

Offsite Greenery
Goldman Sachs (London office), Morgan Stanley
Was: Verdant and welcoming
Now: Gradually disappearing
Estimated Savings: About $2,000 a year for every floor plants are completely removed from, per the manager of Plant Shed New York Flowers

Bank of America
Was: Accomplished by e-mailing documents to an offsite copy center
Now: “We have a small printer that will take half an hour to print out 100-page documents,” says one analyst

II. Cutting People:
Firing sprees, in bankspeak.

“Removing unnecessary complexity and eliminating duplication”
Wells Fargo

“Substantial reengineering”

“[Making] difficult people changes”

“Organize smartly, de-layer and simplify”
Bank of America

“Align our resources fully behind our customer-driven strategy”
Bank of America


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The Wall Street Diet