It's shaping up to be an ugly holiday season on Wall Street, as

Morgan Stanley

(MWD)

became the latest big securities firm to begin making big job cuts.

Sources say Morgan Stanley is in the middle of cutting more than 2,000 jobs worldwide. The cuts include brokers, analysts, investment bankers and support staff.

The cuts began a few weeks ago and will continue throughout the remainder of the year. Morgan Stanley didn't return a phone call seeking comment.

Morgan Stanley now joins the ranks of other big Wall Street firms such as

Merrill Lynch

(MER)

,

Charles Schwab

(SCH)

,

Credit Suisse First Boston

,

Lehman Brothers

(LEH)

and

J.P. Morgan Chase

(JPM) - Get Report

to cut payroll this fall.

Up until now Morgan Stanley had moved much slower than other securities firms in cutting jobs. As of Sept. 30, the firm had trimmed its payroll by some 7,000 employees, or 8% of its workforce, since the summer of 2001.

By comparison, Merrill already had reduced its workforce by nearly 20% before the latest round of cuts.

But during the summer, analysts were predicting that all of Wall Street's big players would start slashing jobs after Labor Day, especially since there has been little sign of a revival in investment-banking work. When the bloodletting is done, it appears that many of Wall Street's biggest firms will employ 20% fewer workers than they did at the beginning of 2000 -- the year the bull market ended.

Overall, the Securities Industry Association, a Wall Street trade group, reports that there are 32,000 fewer people working on Wall Street since the beginning of last year.

Wall Street observers say now that most Wall Street firms have begun swinging the job ax with a vengeance, the next thing to take a beating with be the ever-popular year-end bonus, which is how many people on the Street earn the bulk of their salaries.