Merrill Lynch & Co. said it will post third-quarter losses of up to 50 cents per share as it writes down by $4.5 billion the value of collateralized debt obligations and subprime mortgages. The write-downs "reflect in part significant dislocations in the highest-rated tranches of these securities which were affected by an unprecedented move in credit spreads and a lack of market liquidity in these securities," the investment bank said in a press release. Merrill Lynch said it was also writing down by $463 million net of underwriting fees the value of financing commitments for corporate buyouts. The bank has drastically scaled back such commitments, to $31 billion, compared with $53 billion at the end of the second quarter. Merrill Lynch will report third-quarter results ...
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