Merrill announces $4.5bn in writedowns

Merrill Lynch has said it will make an estimated $4.5 billion of writedowns on its CDO and subprime mortgage holdings. In releasing a warning on its third-quarter results, the bank cited an unprecedented move in credit spreads and a lack of market liquidity.

There will also be an estimated $967 million of gross losses on its leveraged finance operations, although the bank notes total exposure in this sector was reduced by 42% to $31 billion at the end of the third quarter, with the writedowns at

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