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E-Trade Citadel Deal To Set a `Floor' for Collapse?

Dec. 3, 2007 (EIRNS)— In the wake of record writedowns in recent weeks by major banks such as Citigroup and Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp., the number crunchers at Credit Suisse are predicting further doom and gloom for the sector. Using the recent agreement by Citadel to buy the "distressed" debt of E*Trade (at between 11 and 27 cents on the dollar) as a guide, they did a "back of the envelope" calculation of what this could mean for some of their competitors. According to coverage by CNN Money, they found that Merrill Lynch could be facing $9 billion more writedowns, and Citigroup could be facing an additional $26 billion, in on top of what has already been admitted.

Investors have cheered that the E*Trade deal, as bad as it is, could possibly have set the "floor" for the ongoing asset collapse. For someone in freefall, however, it is not always good to finally see the floor approaching.