NEW YORK -- Even before cost-cutting replaced scandal-dodging as the latest game on Wall Street, one firm kept a sharp eye on its bottom line -- thanks mainly to advice from the revered Haimchinkel Malintz Anaynikal, a reclusive philosopher of budgetary restraint.

The fictional Anaynikal resides in the fertile imagination of Alan C. (Ace) Greenberg, the chairman and chief executive of Bear, Stearns & Co.

"I have no further comment about him," Greenberg said this week when asked to supply details of Anaynikal's biography. "If other firms found out about him, there might be big trouble."

It's easy to see why: For years, Greenberg and Anaynikal have been tough on costs, but now the rest of Wall Street seems to be catching up.

Last week Salomon Inc. announced it would eliminate 800 jobs as part of a plan to save $150 million a year; other investment firms that have grown rapidly during the bull market also are taking a fresh look at possible staff reductions.

Through a series of internal memos distributed to employes at Bear Stearns, Ace Greenberg and Anaynikal have worked over time to slash costs at the firm. One typical memo begins:

"It may come as a surprise to some of you, but Federal Express is not a wholly owned subsidiary of Bear, Stearns & Co. I mention this because we have been spending $50,000 a month with them and there is no explanation to justify this expenditure unless it was an intercompany transfer."

The Bear Stearns' memos, recently obtained by The Washington Post, contain nuggets of Haimchinkel Malintz Anaynikal's instructive -- and diverting -- wisdom. What follows, in chronological order, are excerpts: FR: Alan C. Greenberg June 19, 1985

The month of May is history, but it looks like we did get 10 runs in the first inning. I frankly cannot remember any time in the past where we ever broke even in the month of May, much less made money.

Haimchinkel Malintz dropped down, saw the figures, and made some suggestions. ... He pointed out to me that the tendency is to cut expenses when things are tough and how stupid that line of reasoning is. When things are good you should be even more careful of expenses. ...

The partners of this firm must continue to work together and learn to overlook petty differences. We are all expendable and I hope that your Executive Committee does not have to prove that to any of us. August 9, 1985

I was just shown the results for our first quarter. They were excellent. When mortals go through a prosperous period, it seems to be human nature for expenses to balloon. We are going to be the exception.

I have just informed the purchasing department that they should no longer purchase paper clips. All of us receive documents every day with paper clips on them. If we save these paper clips, we will not only have enough for our own use, but we will also in a short time be awash in the little critters. Periodically, we will collect excess paper clips and sell them. ...

In addition to the paper clip caper, we also are going to cut down on ordering the blue envelopes used for interoffice mail. These envelopes can be used over and over again. ...

You have probably guessed by now that these thoughts are not original. They came from one of Haimchinkel Molonitz {sic} Anaynikal's earlier works. His thoughts have not exactly steered us wrong so far. Let's stick with his theories till he lets us down. August 15, 1985

Thank you, thank you, thank you! The response to the memo on paper clips and envelopes has been overwhelming. It seems that we already have an excess of paper clips. This excess will be picked up shortly by a designated paper-clipper-picker-upper person and, of course, will be sold through competitive bidding. ...

If we can save paper clips from incoming mail, we can save rubber bands, and my hope is that we can become awash in those little stretchies also. Obviously, if we can handle the rubber band challenge, I have something even bigger in mind. September 10, 1985 We have been supplying everyone with memo pads. These pads have, at the top, our logo and also a person's name and telephone number. This is conceptually wrong. We are in a person-to-person business. It would be much warmer if the sender of a note signed it with his name and telephone number along with some sweet words, such as "I love you" or "I need more business to feed my family."

... Haimchinkel Malintz Anaynikal just informed me that this superior way of communicating will save us $45,000 a year. December 13, 1985

Things are too good!! It is at a time like this that we must be particularly careful, wary, smart, suspicious, and, in general, thankful that we are alive. Those of us who have been around for a while know what I mean. ...

Let us continue to watch our expenses like a Greenberg so our bottom line looks like a combination of Miss America and Haimchinkel Malintz Anaynikal. January 6, 1986

Haimchinkel Malintz Anaynikal was right again. Some of you may have had doubts about his theory on the effects of expense cutting, but the month of December should prove once and for all that the key to profitability is cutting down on the wasteful use of paper clips and rubber bands.

I think December 1985 was the biggest month in the history of Bear Stearns. ... The rest of our industry cuts expenses when business is bad. We try to cut expenses all the time, but particularly when business is great. Would we have thought of this brilliant bit of logic without the help of Haimchinkel Malintz Anaynikal? I doubt it, but let us continue to do things differently than others. Our record is pretty good. February 25, 1986

The {profits} for our first three months of {public ownership} are certainly something to be proud of. Before we fall into one of the traps that Haimchinkel Malintz Anaynikal so often warned us about, please keep in mind that we were aided and abetted by a great stock and bond market. ...

We must continue to be alert for scams and con artists. We must watch for unusual behavior by the people we work with. What is unusual behavior? Something subtle like somebody who drives a Rolls-Royce on a salary that can barely support roller skates.

... Are all phone calls returned? I couldn't care less what a person does in his own home, but I am a nut about returning phone calls that are made to personnel during the work day. I do not care if the caller is selling malaria. Calls must be returned!

... Do you and your associates leave word where you are at all times so that finding you is not like hunting for the Andrea Doria? ...

In September of 1983, a memo was distributed with a quote from the works of Haimchinkel Malintz Anaynikal. It is worth repeating. "A man will do well in commerce as long as he does not believe that his own body odor is perfume." That still holds true. We must not get cockey {sic} or overconfident. April 14, 1986

This may come as a surprise to some of you, but Federal Express is not a wholly owned subsidiary of Bear, Stearns & Co. I mention this because we have been spending $50,000 a month with them and there is no explanation to justify this expenditure unless it was an intercompany transfer.

I checked on how much I was charged for Federal Expressing packages to my clients, and the figure for the past 11 months was $68.32. One of those charges was for a package sent to Haimchinkel Malintz Anaynikal. That should be a firm expense, but I am not going to make a big thing out of it. ... After thinking it over, I am going to ... reverse that $25 that was charged to me for sending our figures to Haimchinkel Malintz Anaynikal. August 29, 1986

Because we are rolling along, it is essential that we review the fundamentals of Haimchinkel Malintz Anaynikal. ... Do not get conceited or cocky. ... Check on the people that answer telephones. Are they courteous? ... Return all calls as soon as possible. ... Watch expenses -- like a hawk. Now is the time to cut out fat! The rest of the world cuts expenses when business turns sour. With your help, we will be different, smarter and richer. December 9, 1986

This is going to be hard for you to believe, but it is actually a fact. I called the head of one of our major areas yesterday, and although the man was in, his secretary did not know where to find him! I know that this tests my creditability {sic} with you, but it is true. You are well aware that this violates one of Haimchinkel Malintz Anaynikal's cardinal rules. ...

It also hurts me to report that I saw somebody throw away a used envelope before it made 22 trips around the office. I can't stand to see people burn money. ... Rubber bands can be used even when they break. Take the two ends and tie a square knot. February 5, 1987

I have never been more optimistic about the future of Bear Stearns than I am now. Our third quarter is over and, since we are a public company, there is very little I can say about it, but I think that anybody who works here can make a very good guess of how we did. The figures will be released in late February. ...

Whatever the figures are, they would be even better if my associates read and reread my memos on expenses, but nobody pays attention to me since the stock is above 20.

... It has become perfectly clear to me that several of our departments have been profitable during the past few years, despite the fact that they were not exactly competing on a "level playing field." ... I congratulate those departments for the job they have done against unethical competition. You may also have read the articles about a large firm that is deemphasizing arbitraging activities (investing in takeover stocks). We at Bear Stearns are actively expanding the personnel and the capital commitments of our risk arbitrage department. I have never been more positive about risk arbitrage. August 21, 1987

I would like to announce at this time a freeze on expenses and carelessness. We probably throw away millions every year with stupidities and slop. In fact I have seen more slop in the last three weeks than in the previous six months. Stop it now.

Haimchinkel Malintz Anaynikal is really something. ... He hates slop even more than I do. In fact, he pointed out to me where our stock could be if we ran a neat, tight shop. I am tired of cleaning up poo-poos. The next associate of mine that does something "un-neat" is going to have a little meeting with me and I will not be the usual charming, sweet, understanding, pleasant, entertaining, affable, yokel from Oklahoma.