After the close on July 17th, Merrill Lynch announced earnings. Actually it wasn’t earnings, because they lost money. They lost $4.65 billion on writedowns. On the 18th, the stock rebounded from earlier losses and closed slightly higher for the day on hopes and beliefs that the worst was over and that financial stocks had put in a bottom.
Today after the close, not two weeks from reporting their financial results, Merrill announced they were going to take another $5.7 billion writedown of assets and raise $8.5 billion in stock.
Are you kidding me? Is it any wonder that no one trusts the financial numbers or balance sheets of any of these financial companies? They are simply all lies. They are basically putting off markdowns and writeoffs whenever they want. And they are stringing it out to make it not seem as bad as it really is.
The hits and the writeoffs will keep coming until all of this toxic stuff is priced properly. And how can you tell if they are finally telling you the truth? Who knows.