$467 billion in writedowns and counting

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This reporting season, there have been some major, major writedowns from the likes of WaMu, Citi, Merrill, and Wachovia. Most analysts see this quarter as the last quarter of major writedowns from the credit crisis. Haven’t we heard that every quarter? Wachovia’s share price even rallied after it reported an outsized $8.9 billion loss for the quarter.

But, far from representing the last of a slew of writedowns, these writedowns represent the last sub-prime writedowns. Many more writedowns are to come in Alt-A, Option Arm and even Prime classes of mortgages.

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To date, there have been over $450 billion in credit writedowns by the world’s financial institutions. Bloomberg has done an amazing job in summing up the writedowns in the financial services sector as they are reported. Below is the chronological list of tallies as presented by Bloomberg starting right before New Year’s 2008.

The credit writedown tallies have unexpectedly increased dramatically every quarter since Q4 2007 (see entries in red). With the European banks still left to present Q2 2008 results, one can imagine the tally easily reaching $500 by September.

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2007 12 27 Subprime Bank Losses Reach $97 Billion, Led by Citigroup: Table
2008 01 22 Subprime Bank Losses Reach $133 Billion, Led by Merrill: Table
2008 01 31 Subprime Bank Losses Reach $146 Billion as Europe Joins: Table
2008 02 22 Subprime Losses Reach $163 Billion With Asian Banks
2008 02 29 Subprime Losses Reach $181 Billion With European Banks: Table
2008 03 07 Subprime Losses Reach $188 Billion With Canada, Europe: Table
2008 03 14 Subprime Losses Reach $195 Billion; German Banks Get Hit: Table
2008 03 26 Subprime Losses Exceed $208 Billion With U.S. Writedowns: Table
2008 04 01 Subprime Losses Reach $232 Billion With UBS, Deutsche: Table
2008 04 10 Subprime Bank Losses Reach $245 Billion With WaMu, HSH: Table
2008 04 28 Subprime Bank Losses Reach $312 Billion With RBS, Nomura: Table
2008 05 09 Subprime Bank Losses Top $323 Billion With HBOS, Lloyds: Table
2008 05 19 Subprime Losses Top $379 Billion on Balance-Sheet Marks: Table
2008 06 18 Subprime Losses Top $396 Billion on Brokers’ Writedowns: Table
2008 07 02 Reference within article: Writedowns have topped $403 Billion
2008 07 15 Reference within article: Writedowns reach $415 Billion
2008 07 22 Reference within article: Writedowns reach $462 Billion
2008 07 23 Reference within article: Writedowns reach $467 Billion

Note that companies have also raised $345 billion. So, net-net, we’re looking at a capital loss of $117 billion globally.

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