Merrill Lynch Posts Steep Q1 Loss

$9B in writedowns guts brokerage's earnings
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Apr 17, 2008 7:25 AM CDT
A Merrill Lynch office is seen in New York.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, file)
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(Newser) – Merrill Lynch today posted nearly $2 billion in losses in the first quarter, after taking another $9 billion in writeoffs, the Wall Street Journal reports. In its third straight quarterly loss, Merrill was in the red $1.96 billion, or $2.19 a share, compared to earning $2.16 billion, or $2.26 a share a year ago. The company said it will cut about 3,000 jobs.

The new round of Merrill writeoffs includes $1.5 billion in CDOs, $3.5 billion in residential mortgage-backed securities, $925 million on leveraged loans and $3 billion on hedges with financial guarantors. Citi, BofA and Countrywide are up next.