For several months now, the capital markets have been bracing for layoffs stemming from the downturn in the subprime MBS, CDO and broader ABS markets. Last week, a wave of at least a couple hundred layoffs moved through the MBS businesses at Credit Suisse and HSBC Securities, leaving much of the industry nervously awaiting more.

Credit Suisse announced the largest single number of layoffs. Market sources familiar with the situation estimated that about 150 people were cut from its MBS unit, including about 40 from its offices in New York. HSBC Securities lost about 30 professionals from its MBS unit through layoffs and voluntary resignations.

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