Consider the following:
Washington Mutual Inc. said late Monday it will leave the subprime lending business, eliminating 3,150 jobs, while it shores up an increasingly shaky financial position by slashing its dividend by over two-thirds and selling preferred stock.
UBS AG became one of the biggest casualties of the U.S. subprime-mortgage meltdown yesterday, announcing that it would take a $10 billion write-down and sell a chunk of itself to the government investment arm of Singapore and an unnamed Middle Eastern investor.
The disclosures stoked anxiety about potential losses lurking on the books of other banks. That UBS, long known as a conservative lender, could take such a financial hit suggests that the wave of industry write-downs, which so far total about $50 billion, may be far from over.
Bank of America Corp. is liquidating a privately placed, enhanced institutional cash fund amid withering losses on complex asset-backed securities, the bank said Monday.
The Columbia Strategic Cash Portfolio fund for institutional investors that was worth $34 billion on Nov. 30, currently has about $12 billion in assets, the Charlotte-based bank said. The fund will be closed off to new investors, it added.
Those are some really negative news events. They indicate we're nowhere near out of the woods on this whole subprime thing.
Everybody was focusing on the fact that UBS and MBIA got off-shore financing. Everybody said that was good news.
They said the same thing when Country Wide got a cash infusion from Bank of America. That investment is now underwater.