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WaMu to lay off up to 3,000

Washington Mutual’s new owner, JPMorgan Chase, is expected to lay off thousands of Seattle workers over the next several months as it shifts operations to its New York headquarters and other business centers around the country.

JPMorgan is handing out layoff notices now and is expected to finish making decisions about all of WaMu’s 43,200 employees nationwide by Dec. 1.

As many as 3,000 of WaMu’s 4,200 workers in Seattle could lose their jobs, according to current and recently departed WaMu executives who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“It’s pretty dire for Seattle,” said one former high-ranking executive.

The layoffs will leave gaping holes in downtown Seattle’s commercial real-estate market, where WaMu occupies more office space than any other company.

A small group is being offered jobs elsewhere in JPMorgan, such as Columbus, Ohio, the support center for much of its Chase retail-banking operation.


Holiday sale tactic hits real estate

Real estate agents eager to move some houses are turning to that common retail tactic: the holiday sale.

Agents here have cut asking prices up to $70,000 for homes throughout the region in a pitch they are calling “Home for the Holidays.”

“It is the single largest home sale promotion we’ve ever had in southeast Idaho,” Steve Hatch, president of the Greater Idaho Falls Association of Realtors, told the Post Register. “It’s a landmark event for us.”

There are more than 260 properties listed for the event. To participate, homeowners had to agree to reduce their asking prices by at least 5 percent. Some are offering discounts of 10 percent or more.


Online spending slows to a crawl

Online spending for October grew at the slowest pace since at least 2001, an Internet research company says, the latest evidence that Web shopping is being dragged down by the deteriorating economy.

According to the comScore Inc. report, online spending increased a meager 1 percent last month from the year-ago period, marking the slowest sales pace for any month since the Chicago-based company began tracking the data seven years ago.

The results exclude business from auctions, autos and travel.

From wire reports


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