E*Trade Tries to Instill Confidence, Fails

E*Trade (ETFC) finally said something about its financial condition, apparently in attempt to 1) reassure customers, and 2) stop its stock’s persistent slide toward zero. Unfortunately, what it said was confusing, and it didn’t say enough.

The quote:

“Since the November 29 announcement of the cash infusion, customer cash trends have shown significant improvement. As of this week, retail customer cash and deposit balances totaled approximately $33 billion, a number consistent with levels disclosed at the time of the announcement.”

Now, maybe it’s just us, but those two sentences seem to contradict each other. The first seems to say that things have improved since the Citadel bail-out. The second seems to say that they haven’t changed. So which is it?

Meanwhile, no update on the four points that really matter:

  1. An exact figure for the company’s total mortgage gambling losses.
  2. A pro forma (post-Citadel) view of the balance sheet and capital ratios.
  3. A clear explanation of the company’s new risk-management policies and procedures.
  4. A clear, detailed accounting of what the company still owns in its mortgage portfolio.

E*Trade promised to reveal its Q4 results, the details of its “turnaround plan,” and its financial condition on January 24th, more than a month from now. At this rate, there won’t be much left by then.

The Chronicles of E*Trade
Singing the E*Trade Blues: Stock Approaching $3
E*Trade’s Long, Quiet March Toward Zero
How to Destroy a Company in 5 Short Months: An E*Trade Financial Seminar
Cost of E*Trade’s Gambling Debts: $9+ Billion and Counting
E*Trade’s Citadel Deal Cuts Existing Shareholders in Half
E*Trade Saved By Hedge fund Citadel
E*Trade on the Block

E*Trade’s Desperate Ads Crush Stock Again
E*Trade CEO Denies Bankruptcy, Risks Jail Time

E*Trade to Customers: Please Don’t Take Money and Run!
How E*Trade Can Save Itself
Demolished E*Trade Plays the Wimpy “Irresponsible” Card

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