I don't want this to become a news blog, but the number of write-downs from major houses is something that can't be ignored. I know very few people (myself decidedly NOT included) who know how to "properly" value a security backed by cash waterfalls originating from mortgages. It's interesting to note that the banks taking the largest write offs had these things in their own inventory, and not in the inventory of their in-house hedge funds...
By David Enrich and Robin Sidel
Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--Citigroup Inc. (C) is poised to announce billions
of dollars in further writedowns on mortgage-related securities,
according to people familiar with the matter.
The announcement is expected to come as early as Monday morning, in
advance of Citigroup submitting its quarterly report to regulators, the
The size of the additional writedowns was still under discussion Sunday
by Citigroup directors, but people estimated they could be $7 billion to
$8 billion. That would come on top of about $2.2 billion in
mortgage-related writedowns and trading losses that Citigroup reported
last month as part of its third-quarter earnings.