Friday, November 2, 2007

Clearly, The "Fat Lady" Has Not Sung Yet

First estimate I have seen about losses in Q4. From CNN.Money:

Banks are likely to mark down another $10 billion of mortgage assets in the fourth quarter, according to one analyst's estimates. Merrill Lynch and Citigroup are expected to be hit the hardest. Mayo estimated each bank would write down $4 billion in the fourth quarter.

He said Bear Stearns, Morgan Stanley, B of A and Wachovia are also likely to take markdowns.

Banks have taken massive hits from risky mortgage securities in the third quarter. Merrill Lynch wrote down $7.9 billion, and Citi took a $2.2 billion markdown due to mortgage-backed securities and credit trading losses.

The pain from the subprime wipeout isn't likely to abate anytime soon. Mayo said mortgage problems could cut bank earnings by 10 to 25 percent over the next two to three years.

The crisis has turned up the heat on Wall Street CEOs. Merrill chief executive Stanley O'Neal stepped down earlier this week amid mounting criticism of the firm's risk management practices. Citi's Chuck Prince (apparently Chuck Prince has handed in his resignation for this Sunday) and Bear Stearns' James Cayne are also facing scrutiny.

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