Trader's $400M Loss Behind Merrill's London 'Irregularity'

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 6, 2009 3:40 PM CST
A security guard monitors the entrance to the Merrill Lynch Financial Center in central London.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – A rogue Merrill Lynch trader appears to have posted some $400 million in undisclosed losses in recent months, the Financial Times reports, covering his tracks with the “irregularity” the firm’s London branch is currently investigating. Alexis Stenfors, now suspended, reported $120 million in gains in 2008’s fourth quarter to cover for significant losses, the Times of London adds.

Merrill, now owned by Bank of America, says it believes “the risks surrounding possible losses are under control.” A lawyer for Stenfors told the New York Times yesterday that the matter was a “misunderstanding” and that his client was cooperating with investigators.