S&P Rates Subprime Cost $285bn

LOSSES & LAWSUITS

PARIS - Rating agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) has reported that writedowns stemming from defaults on US subprime mortgages may reach £285 billion, but also that the end to the downgrades is finally in sight. It says the downgrades - mostly bundled in collateralised debt obligations but also including subprime residential mortgage-backed securities - are probably past the halfway mark. The $285 billion figure is up on the $265 billion price tag put on the crisis earlier this year. S&P said more writedowns were expected, but that the ultimate losses associated with them were probably becoming overrated.

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