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Photo: Stephen Chernin/Getty Images

Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman today pledged that the Wall Street firm will not reduce headcount in 2020, according to an internal memo seen by Axios.

Why it matters: Morgan Stanley employs around 60,000 people, and every job counts at a time when millions of people are losing them.

Below is the memo, whose contents were confirmed to be accurate by a Morgan Stanley spokesperson:

I know your management teams across the Firm have been continuously communicating throughout this crisis, and I wanted to add an additional word. Approximately 90 percent of our employees are currently working from home. As a result, the normal bonds created by everyday interaction with colleagues have surely been impacted, so I am hoping that my perspective on the Firm and the crisis will be helpful.
You have all seen the Federal Reserve actions which are extraordinary but, given the circumstances, necessary. Markets cannot function without liquidity, and the Federal Reserve and other global regulators have taken real steps to address this critical issue. Slowly, governments across the world are putting aside their politics to arrive at blockbuster support and stimulus packages. Way too many people have lost their jobs overnight, and it is essential for governments to act as aggressively as they can. Now governments are focused on the surge in unemployment and putting in place significant measures in support of consumers, small businesses and corporations. This of course will take some time, but is badly needed.
Turning to Morgan Stanley – all I can ask is that we do our best. I am incredibly proud of you! Working from home, supporting our clients and this great Firm, and helping your families throughout the physical and mental stress.
I am sure some, if not many, of you are worried about your jobs. While long term we can’t be sure how this will play out, we want to commit to you that there will not be a reduction in force at Morgan Stanley in 2020. Aside from a performance issue or a breach of the Code of Conduct, your jobs are secure. This decision was made with 100 percent support of the Firm’s Operating Committee. At the end of this year, we will know what we are dealing with, and hopefully the economy will be on the mend by then.
Again, thank you for what you do every day to make this Firm so special.
Stay healthy and positive!
James

Go deeper

17 mins ago - Technology

3D printing's next act: big metal objects

Chief Scientist Andy Bayramian makes modifications to the laser system on Seurat's 3D metal printer. Photo courtesy of Seurat Technologies.

A new metal 3D printing technology could revolutionize the way large industrial products like planes and cars are made, reducing the cost and carbon footprint of mass manufacturing.

Why it matters: 3D printing — also called additive manufacturing — has been used since the 1980s to make small plastic parts and prototypes. Metal printing is newer, and the challenge has been figuring out how to make things like large car parts faster and cheaper than traditional methods.

Rising rates may hammer the stock market

Illustration: Sarah Grillo / Axios

Stocks are much more vulnerable to interest rate swings than they used to be.

Why it matters: A sharp rise in rates in early 2022 is the key reason the stock market is off to an ugly start. And with the Federal Reserve making noise about trying to keep inflation in check, rates could go higher.

Ina Fried, author of Login
1 hour ago - Technology

Microsoft's Activision Blizzard deal complicates Big Tech regulation

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

Microsoft's surprise $68 billion deal to buy Activision Blizzard is adding a fresh twist to the heated debate over which tech companies have monopolies that need to be reined in.

The big picture: The deal could force a question the company has happily ducked for a decade: whether its size and power make it just as deserving of regulatory scrutiny as its Big Tech rivals.