Spectacular subprime fiascos

Some Wall Street titans fiddled while Rome burned -- while others denied there was any sort of catastrophe was afoot.

Merrill Lynch
Merrill Lynch
Mission accomplished!
In the first quarter of 2007, thanks to its $1.3 billion purchase of First Franklin Financial, Merrill Lynch becomes the world's top underwriter of subprime-mortgage-backed securities. Nonetheless, with the market in meltdown just a few months later, Merrill CFO Jeffrey Edwards tells analysts that the firm's subprime exposure is "limited, contained, and appropriately marked." In October, Merrill announces a quarterly loss of $2.24 billion after $7.9 billion in subprime-related write-downs.
Last updated December 19 2007: 10:18 AM ET

Merrill Lynch

Stanley O'Neal

CIBC analyst Meredith Whitney

Century 21

James Cayne

Bear Stearns analysts

Chuck Prince

D.R. Horton
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