BlackRock will be eliminating a number of positions among its 5,500 ranks, Bloomberg reports, quoting an internal memo it obtained. It will be the first time in its 20 years of existence that it has eliminated jobs.

BlackRock spokeswoman Bobbie Collins said the firm would not disclose the cuts until early 2009.

Echoing sentiments expressed by other companies making cuts, Collins said: “Times like these require fiscal discipline. We expect it of the companies in which we invest, and we must expect it of ourselves.”

 

In the memo, BlackRock told employees a similar story: “A wide variety of businesses across industries and regions have reported weak third-quarter results and even weaker expectations for fourth-quarter 2008 and for 2009. BlackRock is not immune.”

The firm’s third-quarter earnings fell 15%, the first quarterly decline in two years, and assets fell 12% to $1.26 trillion.

On the bright side, however, BlackRock CEO Laurence Fink recently said he believes the market is reaching a capitulation and should rebound by the middle of next year.

So far this year, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index is down 42%, financial firms have posted $966 billion in credit-related losses, and 166,000 jobs have been cut at banks and brokerage firms.

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