There's lots of gossip and speculation doing the rounds this week.
Merrill Lynch analyst Guy Moszkowski has come out and said that Citi may be forced to write-down an additional $16bn when the company posts its fourth-quarter earnings. The firm indicated that it would write-down at least $11bn in the period (that was just before former CEO Chuck Prince fell on his sword a few weeks back). And Morgan Stanley analyst Betsy Graseck has also raised her fourth-quarter CDO write-down estimate for Citi from $12bn to $13.5bn. Citi wrote-down $6bn in the third quarter.
Reuters reports that not all Bear Stearns hedge funds have had difficulty. According to the news agency, The Bear Stearns Emerging Markets Macro Fund was up 2.95% in December, taking it up 25.56% for 2007 as a whole.
Here's the edited press release issued by Bear Stearns Tuesday, which confirms that firm President Alan Schwartz, 57, is to succeed Jim Cayne as CEO. Cayne, 73, will remain firm chairman.
42-year-old Marc Howells is said to have lost his job as the $400,000 a-year head of Barclaycard's European operations over an offensive joke he is alleged to have cracked at a meeting of senior executives held to discuss the unit's quarterly figures.
It's wasn't long ago (October to be precise) when we passed the 50,000 mark. Now we have hit the big '60' - over 60,000 financial markets professionals are now signed up to receive our news e-mail alerts.
Several of our readers have commented recently that we don't seem to be publishing much good cheer. As we point out, we merely report the news, not make it. So, this story comes with a warning. If you don't want to be even more depressed about the prospects for the financial markets in 2008, don't read any further. Below are details of some of the stories that have made the news over the last 24 hours (and we did manage to find something good to report at the end).
The Financial Times reports that up to $6.5bn in CDOs face fresh downgrades by rating agency Standard & Poor's due to their exposure to US mortgage-backed securities. And Bloomberg reports that, according to Wachovia Corp. research, units of BlackRock, Deutsche Bank, Societe Generale and State Street 'are among the managers of CDOs deemed at risk of failing to repay their most-senior classes amid declining creditworthiness of mortgage-linked debt'.
The year so far has been characterized by a fear and loathing in the financial markets - fear that the job axe might fall, and loathing of those firms which are paying out decent bonuses.
JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon has called the bank’s money-losing London Whale trade 'harpooned' and 'killed'. Today in Washington, it will be revived.
London's financial sector was last night bracing itself for another official investigation into alleged price-fixing following reports that a US regulator is considering launching an inquiry into the City's gold and silver markets.
Drip, drip, drip.