Thursday, December 18, 2008

Another great headline

MarketWatch gives us this after Morgan Stanley reported their quarterly results: "Morgan Stanley posts loss, but books are stronger."

Now, to me a "stronger" book means a higher book value. It is, however, impossible, to lose money over a 3-month period and have a higher book value at the end than at the beginning of that period. The net loss was 2.2 billion dollars.

Part of their income for the quarter was a decline of $2 billion in the value of some of their liabilities. That is, their own debt. A decline in the market price of a company's debt occurs because the market believes them to be a greater default risk.

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