"The great 2007-2008 parade of writedowns, which was hovering around the $100 billion mark already, has pushed far past that thanks to Merrill Lynch’s $14.5 billion in assets lost related to exposure to subprime mortgages, CDOs and all sorts of other things that were misvalued and are now (hopefully) valued at a more appropriate level.
According to figures calculated by MarketBeat, some $100 billion-plus in positions have been written down for 2007, as the world’s investment banks recognize, en masse, that nobody wants this paper, not even made-up vehicles that have no choice but to buy it. Susanne Craig, David Reilly and Randall Smith reported in today’s Wall Street Journal that banks are going back to basics, reducing risky loans as a result, but that requires that they set aside more capital on their balance sheet, which will hurt earnings.
The lion’s share of the writedowns comes from five companies — Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, UBS Morgan Stanley, and HSBC — who, combined, have written down about $73 billion in assets. HSBC got this party rolling in the first half of the year, with a $4.1 billion writedown, which ultimately turned out to be a harbinger of what was to come later in the year.
The thing is, the writedowns aren’t finished…"
Awesome . . .
Writedowns Surpass $100 Billion
WSJ Marketbeat, January 18, 2008, 8:35 am