How much of a toll has the credit crisis and subprime meltdown taken on Wall Street? Here’s one example: In the past 18 months, Merrill Lynch (MER) has lost a quarter of the money it made between 1971 and 2006:
FT: Merrill Lynch’s losses in the past 18 months amount to about a quarter of the profits it has made in its 36 years as a listed company, according to Financial Times research that highlights the extent of the global banking crisis.
Since the onset of the credit crunch last year, Merrill has suffered after-tax losses of more than $14bn as its balance sheet has been savaged by almost $52bn in writedowns and credit-related losses.
Merrill’s total inflation-adjusted profits between its 1971 listing and 2006 were about $56bn, according to figures from Thomson Reuters Fundamentals and an FT analysis of reported earnings.
The $14bn in losses for 2007 and the first two quarters of 2008 equal half of Merrill’s profits since the beginning of the decade.
Merrill had the highest ratio of credit crunch losses to historical profits among 10 US and European financial groups analysed by the FT, which included Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Bank of America, Credit Suisse and UBS.
See Also: Merrill Lynch Employee: “Hiring Freeze Just Tip Of Iceberg”
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