Is BarCap bonkers to boost its US headcount?

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Think that American investment banking is just one big bloodbath of job cuts, hiring freezes and plummeting bonuses? Barclays begs to disagree.

Barclays Capital, the British firm's i-banking arm, seems to have forgotten about the credit crunch and is still merrily hiring in the USA. In fact, it's on track to increase staff numbers by 16% this year, a jump which is in line with the 400 recruits it took on in 2007.

With the likes of Lehman Brothers looking at more US layoffs, is Barclays being too bold?

Jerry del Missier, BarCap's president, hopes his firm's growth with help redress the banking balance as the bulge bracket braces for more bad news. He's especially keen on financial institutions and equities specialists.

But with a current headcount of only 3,000, how much help can BarCap really give to American i-banking?

Should the British bank be brave or bashful in the US? Let us know below.

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