”A Stealth reduction in Force” is how one professional put it. We are hearing of light job cuts across the industry in Fixed Income( in US). Strategic hires made in 2009 and 2010 have come under pressure as trading volumes have dropped and client interest has been quieter than normal . The moves tend to be selective and handled very quietly, allowing some folks to seek alternate positions internally (where possible) or are being encouraged to find outside positions while they are on notice. Another troubling sign is the lack of urgency in replacing voluntary resignations. Even darling areas such as FX and Emerging Markets have seen a few reductions. The most notable cuts have been observed at the Director and Managing Director levels. Sales teams appear to have been more effected than trading and research. At an investor conference recently, one investment bank CFO warned that more cuts are likely as profit margins remain depressed and the US economy ambles along. What we need is a quick resolution to the US Debt ceiling and a believable resolution to the Europe Debt crisis to pull us out of these market doldrums.