Merrill's $15B Write-Down Nearly Doubles Estimate

Latest loss, driven by mortgage woes, dwarfs original figure
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2008 1:10 PM CST
People arrive at the Merrill Lynch building on a rainy morning in New York in this Nov. 15, 2007 file photo. Merrill Lynch & Co. shares rose Friday, Dec. 21, 2007, on a report that the nation's biggest...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – Merrill Lynch will announce $15 billion in losses stemming from mortgage investments, figure twice its earlier forecast, the New York Times reports. The firm is expected to raise $4 billion quickly from outside investors. New CEO John Thain, who has already sold a $5.6 billion stake to a Singapore state company, is considering selling off its $4 billion holdings in Bloomberg.

In fighting off a damaged reputation and ebbing capital, the largest US brokerage firm is looking to wealthy foreign governments, just as many other struggling firms have recently. A major Merrill deal with a so-called sovereign wealth fund could spur congressional scrutiny; Charles Schumer expressed concern over “non-economic interests” gaining too much control of American companies.