As a steady, soft drizzle blanketed Wall Street on a sleepy Monday morning, some Deutsche Bank employees left the office earlier than expected.
Sunday's announcement that Deutsche would be laying off 18,000 employees was swiftly followed by actual layoffs in New York City this post-holiday Monday. The gloomy weather matched a low mood that has been hanging around the office for over a week.
Reports of Deutsche's imminent restructuring were floating around for weeks, after an ambitious merger with Commerzbank collapsed and the bank became the focus of an FBI money-laundering investigation that was connected to Jared Kushner's real-estate company.
Deutsche's share prices fell Monday after the layoffs, continuing a long-term downward trend. Here's a short dispatch from outside Deutsche Bank's Wall Street offices.
Even though it was mid-morning after a holiday weekend and prime time to get into the office a little late, the door was almost exclusively letting people out. At one point, roughly five people were leaving a minute, while maybe one came back inside a few minutes later.
Many of those who left the office and did not return were presumably let go from Deutsche, but almost none of them carried their desk belongings down with them. Instead, most were empty-handed and on their phones. There were a few who left holding folders, and two who carried down some belongings in blue, bank-branded tote bags.
A small group of roughly ten reporters stood in front of the main entrance to Deutsche's 60 Wall Street location, taking notes, photos and videos. Instead of walking by the press, they walked along the side of the building against the guardrails to avoid conversation. Business Insider was unable to get anyone to answer direct questions, but did observe some telling tidbits.
One man, who it seems was not laid off, walked out and began taking a video of the press. He circled around the front of the building, and then walked back in.
Another man took his phone out to take a picture of the press. As he held his phone up, some of the photographers were able to snap a photo of him. He yelled out, "Enjoy that!" and smiled. He seemed to break the heavy tone of the day for a second.
One man, dressed in business casual garb, walked by and asked for me to take his picture on his phone. He kneeled in front of the building, and requested that I get the company logo in the picture. As he left, I asked him if he had just been laid off. He told me that he was given an offer to work at Deutsche and had declined.
"If I had taken this offer, I would have been laid off today," he yelled with a smile as he walked away.
Later, a man, wearing a suit and talking on the phone, said, "Two of my friends left, they were fired on the trading floor." We were not able to speak with the man to learn the details of his story.
Another man gave the doorman a loud high-five that echoed through the street, sounding as if they had practiced for years.
"Goodbye," he said to the doorman as he walked away.
Multiple people who left the building indicated that they were worried that more layoffs were coming. Some of them were speaking over the phone, others in large groups, but the sentiment seemed the same. They all sensed that more cuts loomed.
"I don't feel so safe," said one man as he walked to lunch with a group of co-workers.
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