http://www.nypost.com/php/pfriendly...siness/blood_on_the_street__trader_866023.htm BLOOD ON THE STREET: TRADER By JOHYN AIDAN BYRNE January 20, 2008 -- Pink slips began in earnest on Wall Street last week - moving grown men to tears and headhunters' phones ringing off the hook. The worst fourth quarter in Wall Street history, which has wiped out billions of dollars in market capitalization and sent the markets into a tailspin, is now costing folks their jobs. "In all my years in financial services, I have never seen it this bad," one high-powered securities industry lawyer told The Post. "I have owners of small firms calling me up saying their liabilities now exceed their assets, which means by law they are required to close down." The lawyer said he had two 50-something Wall Street guys call him this week, who, he said, "had lost hope, crying on the phone." "It is call after call after call like these," he said. Last week was the fourth weekly decline in the widely watched Dow Jones industrial average, which closed Friday at 12,099, dragging it down 8.7 percent so far this year. A trader at the New York Stock Exchange could not name a Wall Street firm that did not cut staff this week. Many swung the ax all right - handing out pink slips even as bonus season failed to lighten the dark mood. "I think everyone on Wall Street is nervous," said Paul Edelman who runs the Wall Street recruitment firm, Edelman & Associates. "It is a bloodbath," said the NYSE trader. "Firms are cutting jobs in all the money losing departments, which includes the troubled sub-prime and mortgage areas." John Challenger, CEO of outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, predicts more layoffs in the financial services sector in the coming weeks unless Wall Street activity picks up soon. Last year, there were 153,105 financial sector job cuts announced, according to Challenger, compared to 50,327 in 2006.