Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Is it time for a pool?

How large will the write-downs be at Citi? Citigroup reports next week and the write-offs are likely to be sizeable. Several firms have already provided projections, Merrill Lynch jumped aboard with a prediction of $16 billion, Goldman Sachs is sticking with $19 billion, while Sanford Bernstein is estimating a $12 billion loss. Any number pulled out of the air is likely to be good at this point. There is an expectation that Citi will want to get as much as the bad news off the books in the 4th quarter report. This will enable the new management team to make future quarters look comparatively glowing if minimal future write-downs need to be taken.