The 25 Biggest Quarterly Losses In History

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Oil damages of $33 billion contributed to a staggering $17 billion loss for BP this past quarter.

But compared to the worst losses of the subprime crisis (a shocking number coming from Fannie Mae) and the dot-com crash, BP doesn’t look so bad.

Not that this will console shareholders, who are down over 30% since April 19. With lawsuits and penalties hitting next quarter, who knows how much damage is yet to come.

Merrill Lynch lost $9.8 billion in Q4 '07

Merrill Lynch suffered its greatest loss so far after $16.7 billion in write-downs on subprime assets.

UBS lost $11 billion in Q1 '08

UBS announced $19 billion in write-downs from the subprime crisis, leading to this $11 billion quarterly loss.

Fannie Mae lost $11.5 billion in Q1 '10

One of many dismal losses from subprime mortgages.

AT&T lost $12.7 billion in Q2 '02

AT&T underwent a major asset write-down after the internet bubble fizzled. C. Michael Armstrong was out by the end of the year.

Freeport-McMoRan lost $13.9 billion in Q4 '08

Mining company Freeport-McMoRan posted the biggest loss in its history as copper prices plunged and due to a the acquisition of Phelps Dodge.

Fannie Mae lost $14.8 billion in Q2 '09

One of many dismal losses from subprime mortgages.

GM lost $15.5 billion in Q2 '08

$7 billion in write-downs contributed to another terrible quarter for GM.

Merrill Lynch lost $15.3 billion in Q4 '08

By the time Merrill had the numbers from the crisis quarter, the bank had been taken over by Bank of America.

Time Warner lost $16 billion in Q4 '08

As AOL continued to slide, Time Warner posted its biggest write-down since the dotcom crash.

Fannie Mae lost $16.3 billion in Q4 '09

One of many dismal losses from subprime mortgages.

UAL Corp. lost $16.9 billion in Q4 '05

United Airlines parent UAL Corp. swallowed a $16.9 billion loss as it emerged from three years of bankruptcy.

BP lost $17 billion in Q2 '10

Watch out next quarter for damage from the oil spill to continue.

Nortel Networks lost $19.4 billion in Q2 '01

fibre-optics company Nortel took a big fall in the dotcom crash. This $19.4 billion loss included $12.3 billion in write-downs on aquisitions that had lost value.

Fannie Mae lost $19.8 billion in Q3 '09

One of many dismal losses from subprime mortgages.

GM lost $21 billion in Q1 '92

This was based on an accounting change that required the company to account for future pensions.

Fannie Mae lost $23.2 billion in Q1 '09

One of many dismal losses from subprime mortgages.

Wachovia lost $23.7 billion in Q3 '08

The sale to Wells Fargo has already happened when Wachovia announced this new record for bank quarterly losses.

AIG lost $24.5 billion in Q3 '08

The government pledged $150 billion in support to AIG as losses from the subprime crisis surged. They would be even worse next quarter.

Fannie Mae lost $25.2 billion in Q4 '08

One of many dismal losses from subprime mortgages.

Fannie Mae lost $29.4 billion in Q3 '08

Fannie Mae lost more this quarter on subprime asset write-downs than its combined earnings from 2002-2006.

Conoco Phillips lost $31.8 billion in Q4 '08

$34 billion in asset write-downs and falling oil prices set up this enormous loss.

GM lost $38.6 billion in Q3 '07

It was GM's first and biggest in a string of losses that would lead to the auto bailout.

Time Warner lost $44.7 billion in Q4 '02

After the AOL-Time Warner merger at the bubble heights, the corporation suffered two severe asset write-downs. The second and smaller write-down of $45.5 billion led to this $44.7 billion quarterly loss.

Time Warner lost $54.2 billion in Q1 '02

And this was Time Warner's worst quarter in a terrible year.

AIG lost $61.7 billion in Q4 '08

AIG suffered the worst quarter in history, catalyzing a dire financial crisis.

The Top 25 and more (Let us know who we missed!)

  • AIG lost $61.7 billion in Q4 '08
  • Time Warner lost $54.2 billion in Q1 '02
  • Time Warner lost $44.7 billion in Q4 '02
  • GM lost $38.6 billion in Q3 '07
  • Conoco Phillips lost $31.8 billion in Q4 '08
  • Fannie Mae lost $29.4 billion in Q3 '08
  • Fannie Mae lost $25.2 billion in Q4 '08
  • AIG lost $24.5 billion in Q3 '08
  • Wachovia lost $23.7 billion in Q3 '08
  • Fannie Mae lost $23.2 billion in Q1 '09
  • GM lost $21 billion in Q1 '92
  • Fannie Mae lost $19.8 billion in Q3 '09
  • Nortel Networks lost $19.4 billion in Q2 '01
  • BP lost $17 billion in Q2 '10
  • UAL Corp. lost $16.9 billion in Q4 '05
  • Fannie Mae lost $16.3 billion in Q4 '09
  • Time Warner lost $16 billion in Q4 '08
  • Merrill Lynch lost $15.3 billion in Q4 '08
  • GM lost $15.5 billion in Q2 '08
  • Fannie Mae lost $14.8 billion in Q2 '09
  • Freeport-McMoRan lost $13.9 billion in Q4 '08
  • AT&T lost $12.7 billion in Q2 '02
  • Fannie Mae lost $11.5 billion in Q1 '10
  • UBS lost $11 billion in Q1 '08
  • Citigroup lost $9.8 billion in Q4 '07
  • Merrill Lynch lost $9.8 billion in Q4 '07
  • GM lost $9.6 billion in Q4 '08
  • UBS lost $8.9 billion in Q4 '07
  • Wachovia lost $8.9 billion in Q2 '08
  • Ford lost $8.7 billion in Q2 '08
  • Citigroup lost $8.3 billion in Q4 '08
  • IMB lost $8 billion in Q2 '93
  • Citigroup lost $7.6 billion in Q4 '09
  • Symantec lost $6.8 billion in Q4 '08
  • Devon Energy lost $6.8 billion in Q4 '08
  • News Corp lost $6.4 billion in Q4 '08
  • Regions Financial lost $6.2 billion in Q4 '08

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