Thursday, April 24, 2008

Credit Suisse writedowns $5.2 billion

ZURICH -- Credit Suisse Group Thursday said it swung to a worst-than-expected first-quarter net loss after taking 5.3 billion Swiss francs ($5.2 billion) in write-downs for big buyout loans and mortgage securities.

The Zurich-based bank said its net loss for the three months was 2.15 billion francs, compared with a net profit of 2.7 billion francs in the year-ago period. The result was a wider loss than the 1.23 billion francs expected by analysts.

"The number of times people have seen the light at the end of the tunnel it turned out to be a train coming down the tracks," bank Chief Executive Brady Dougan said on a media call.

Credit Suisse took the bulk -- 2.66 billion francs -- of write-downs for collateralized debt obligations, but also marked down 1.68 billion francs for buyout loans granted but failed to sell to investors, as well as 944 million francs for mortgage securities.

A couple days ago, Credit Suisse said that foreclosures could top 12% nationwide:

NEW YORK, April 22 (Reuters) - Falling U.S. home prices and a lack of available credit may result in foreclosures on 6.5 million loans by the end of 2012, according to a Credit Suisse research report on Tuesday.

The foreclosures could put 12.7 percent of all residential borrowers out of their homes, Credit Suisse analysts, led by Rod Dubitsky, said in the report. That compares with a foreclosure rate of 2.04 percent in the last quarter of 2007, they said, citing Mortgage Bankers Association data.

The new forecast includes 2.7 million subprime loans whose risky characteristics sparked the worst housing market since the Great Depression. Subprime foreclosures, on top of the 676,000 already in or through the process, will hit 1.39 million in the next two years alone, an upward revision from the 730,000 predicted by Credit Suisse in October.

Writedown $5 billion a quarter, and you put away the rose colored glasses!

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