Merrill Lynch’s mortgage gambling tab keeps growing (MER). $8 billion in Q3, $12 billion in Q4, and now another $9 billion in Q1. That’s $29 billion all told (so far), or approximately 4 years worth of earnings.
Put differently, four years worth of work by 60,000+ Merrilly Lynch executives worldwide has been vaporized in the past nine months by a handful of dice-throwers on a trading desk and some facilitators in senior management. Thankfully, Merrill is addressing the problem: In addition to taking the write-offs, it’s firing 4,000 people who had nothing to do with the gambling addiction.
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