Morgan Stanley posts $2.36 billion loss

Dec. 17, 2008 at 3:30 PM
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NEW YORK, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- U.S. bank Morgan Stanley said Wednesday it lost $2.36 billion in its first quarter as a bank holding company.

The bank changed status in September as it sought to adjust to the financial crisis and take advantage of the Federal Reserve's discount window and other federal liquidity programs.

But in its move to retail banking, revenue in each of the bank's divisions fell, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

Revenue fell 160 percent in the bank's asset management division, but only 9 percent in its wealth management unit, the Times said.

Some of the losses came from investments made before the quarter began that have since soured.

Losses in the fourth quarter were concentrated in mortgage investments, private equity and real estate, the Times said.

"These exceptional market conditions profoundly impacted our performance this year, especially in the fourth quarter," Chief Executive Officer John Mack said. "But we have successfully evolved and adapted our business across numerous cycles and the current market dislocation gives us openings."

Sterne Agee analyst Ada Lee, who issued a positive report on the bank a month ago, said the bank's operating expenses were too high and a recovery could take years.

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