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By Jennifer Yousfi
For the first two months of 2008, the financial sector has already lost 22,000 jobs, many of which will never return.
On top of that, analysts say another 30,000 finance jobs could be lost by the end of this year, as the credit crisis continues to unfold.
"A lot of firms are going through periods of restructuring and whole teams are being axed, especially in the credit sector," Dean Looney, a recruiter at Huxley Associates,.
The majority of the cuts have come in the hard-hit mortgage sector, which has born the brunt of the lay offs with 18,000 total jobs shed in January and February.
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New York City, home to Wall Street firms such as The Bear Stearns Cos. Inc. (BSC) and Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (GS), will suffer sizeable losses according to Marcia Van Wagner, deputy controller for the budget for the New York City comptroller's office.
Other cities with major financial presences, such as London, are not immune either. Banks across Europe are paring jobs or instituting hiring freezes.
However, now is an excellent time to be searching for a finance job in Russia or the Middle East.
Russia's annual lending growth is growing at a 45% clip, The Wall Street Journal reported, making it the fastest-growing banking market of the BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia, India and China.
Russia's economy grew by 10%. And that prosperity is fueling the consumer lending business, as Russia's emerging consumer class seeks auto loans, credit cards and mortgages, The Journal reported.
Meanwhile, in the Middle East, Persian Gulf states are increasingly shifting their investment strategies to prepare for the day when the region's oil reserves run dry.
Middle East sovereign wealth funds, or "Global Cash Barons" as we like to call them, have been investing in such alternative investments as high-risk hedge funds and other alternative investments. What's more, as recent reports underscore, these venture funds are taking direct stakes in major corporations – especially financial-service firms.
But at least one firm is turning its eyes to the West. Barclays' President Bob Diamond wants to use the weakness in the U.S. market to make a major move into the American market. Diamond recently told analysts at a conference that problems for the major U.S. investment banks have given Barclays Capital, the group's investment banking arm, an opportunity to become more competitive in the States.
"All of a sudden the U.S. has moved very high on our priority list," Diamond said in February,.
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