Bear Stearns carries out its cost reduction plan

Bear Stearns Cos. cut 300 jobs to reduce costs.

The positions will affect various business units, including its equity trading business, according to an internal memo obtained by the Associated Press.

The layoffs represent about 2 percent of the staff, which as of Aug. 31 was 15,516 employees.

"The goal is deploy our resources in today's challenging environment where growth opportunities are greatest and to reduce costs in areas that can no longer justify their current level of infrastructure," Chief Executive James Cayne said in the memo. "These difficult decisions were not made lightly. A great deal of care and deliberation went into the assessment of our ongoing business needs."

A spokesman for the company did not return telephone calls seeking comment.

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Author`s name Angela Antonova