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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

Dominion sends cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems on Monday sent a cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell over his spread of misinformation related to the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Trump and several of his allies have pushed false conspiracy theories about the company, leading Dominion to take legal action. It's suing pro-Trump lawyer Sydney Powell for defamation and $1.3 billion in damages, and a Dominion employee has sued Trump himself, OANN and Newsmax.

Off the Rails

Episode 5: The secret CIA plan

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer, Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 5: Trump vs. Gina — The president becomes increasingly rash and devises a plan to tamper with the nation's intelligence command.

In his final weeks in office, after losing the election to Joe Biden, President Donald Trump embarked on a vengeful exit strategy that included a hasty and ill-thought-out plan to jam up CIA Director Gina Haspel by firing her top deputy and replacing him with a protege of Republican Congressman Devin Nunes.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Empire State Building among hundreds to light up in Biden inauguration coronavirus tribute.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.