Citing steep redemptions and continued market declines, Fidelity Investments Chairman Ned Johnson indicated the firm’s 7% layoffs, or loss of 3,000 jobs, could surge if conditions worsen, the Boston Herald reports.

The coming year “is going to be a difficult period because of the lower equity prices” and redemptions, Johnson said, speaking after a luncheon presentation at the Boston College Chief Executives’ Club. Asked whether there could be additional layoffs, Johnson responded, “We never know. You tell us how the market is going to go.”

Johnson himself said he believes the markets will continue to be rough in 2009.

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