After a banner year that separated the wheat from the chaff among investment banks, Goldman Sachs ( GS) is reportedly prepping to take a scythe to some of its own global staff. Reuters reported early Friday that Goldman was looking to cut 5% of its workforce, but the firm has since emphasized that such reductions are not atypical, since it engages in an annual review and purges the weaker performers at its firm. "We're not looking at a headcount reduction across the board," said Goldman spokesman Lucas van Praag. "These cuts happen every year. But we continue to hire. As far as we're concerned it's business as usual, except for the bottom 5%." Layoffs have been common on Wall Street recently, as the credit crunch, a collapse of the mortgage market and fears that the U.S. is in the grips of a full-blown recession weigh on firms. Goldman, however, has so far sidestepped much of the pain its rivals have endured. The stellar year for Goldman has led to a boffo compensation package of about $20 billion at the New York based investment bank. Shares of Goldman were down 1.3% at $196.74 in midday Friday trading. Goldman has largely been acknowledged as outwitting much of Wall Street in racking up some $11 billion in net profits on the back of huge subprime mortgage bets aided by its star traders. Meanwhile, its peers including Merrill Lynch ( MER), Bear Stearns ( BSC) and Citigroup ( C) have incurred embarrassing losses on writedowns of soured subprime mortgage paper and stalled leveraged loans. Citi, Bear and Merrill have all announced various levels of layoffs with most of those cuts coming in the imploding mortgage space. During its fourth-quarter report, Citi announced that it would lay off about 4,200 staffers in addition to a previously announced plan to let go of about 17,000 employees.