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"U.S. SEC Checking Brokers' Books Over Subprime Loans, WSJ Says

2007-08-10 02:46 (New York)

By David Altaner

Aug. 10 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Securities and Exchange

Commission is examining financial statements at big Wall

Street securities firms, starting with Goldman Sachs Group

Inc. and Merrill Lynch & Co., to make sure they aren't hiding

losses relating to subprime mortgages, the Wall Street Journal

reported, citing people familiar with the inquiry.

The agency is checking whether the investment banks are

using ways of calculating the value of subprime-mortgage

assets in their own inventories that are consistent with those

used for assets held for customers such as hedge funds, the

newspaper said.

It's hard to set accurate prices for subprime assets

because, unlike bonds or stocks, they can't be bought and sold

easily; this gives managers wide leeway in establishing

values, the Journal said.

The SEC is reviewing marking methods used by units that

make loans to customers such as hedge funds and other money

managers, the newspaper said.

Merrill Lynch is a passive minority investor in Bloomberg

LP., the parent of Bloomberg News."

No link as yet as it was on bloomberg terminal

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