Jefferies Said To Demand Bonus Clawbacks From Terminated Bankers

Earlier today, Fox Business' Charlie Gasparino broke the news (which was really surprising only for anyone who had not seen the JEF stock slide in the past several months) that the firm has fired a substantial number of people just after the bank's fiscal year end: "People inside the firm say the cuts are occurring most heavily in Jefferies' equities division, and according to traders inside the firm, they could total as much as 11% of the entire firm when the job cutting is complete". We now have some additional, and more disturbing information: the actual number of people is roughly 65 or so, but the worst news is that Rich Handler will demand a 1 year clawback from the departees, in the form of bonus refunds for both cash and stuck. While this has been isolated to Jefferies for the time being (which has other liquidity concerns of its own, most of which are quite well known), we are certain that now that this practice has a "case study" other banks, especially of the B-grade variety, will implement comparable clawback strategies. This approach, once adopted broadly, will likely cause a substantial dent in banker spending patterns, as rarely if ever before have termination without cause been accompanied by demand for money back. In effect, this activity will force even greater spending retrenchment, and could cause a flight of the ultra high net worth retail customer who will suddenly be forced to think twice about spending not the upcoming bonus, but even the previous one, heretofore considered safe and sound, in some Cayman bank account.