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Bank Layoffs Far From Over: 150,000 Likely in 2012: Bove
CNBC.com | December 16, 2011 | 12:13 PM EST

Banks are likely to see another 150,000 layoffs in 2012 — on top of the 230,000 estimated for this year — as government regulations and a weak economy continue to shrink the US financial system, banking analyst Dick Bove said.

Increasing regulatory constraints, rock-bottom interest rates and declining share prices have forced Wall Street institutions to pare back sharply on staff, pushing out as many as 230,000 finance professionals this year alone.

While targeting banks has become a popular sport for politicians and protesters , Bove said Americans ought to be careful how loudly they cheer the industry's troubles.

"What no one has figured out as yet is that the big government cannon is harming more than the big banks, evil though they may be," Bove, vice president of equity research at Rochdale Securities, said in a note to clients. "Small banks are hurt far more than the large ones due to the various restrictions on rate and balance sheet size plus government price fixing."

Those troubles will carom from the industry into the broader economy, he said.

That's a point not understood by the various forces that Bove contends are aligned against the banking industry: President Obama, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Congress, regulators and even the media.

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