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Monday, August 12, 2002

Merrill: An Insider Sale?

by: Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

Those on Wall Street should know best when the best times to buy and sell stock are. Thus today's decision by Merrill Lynch to raise $10 billion selling its securities on the Street comes as something of a surprise. After all, prices are thought to be at bargain levels compared to the past decade.

The brokerage filed a shelf registration with the SEC to raise $10 billion through the sale of debt securities, warrants, depositary shares and common and preferred stock. On the filings, Merrill listed general corporate purposes as the reason for raising the funds.

The sale was announced as word is spreading in New York firms such as Goldman Sachs, Fidelity Investments and Charles Schwab are preparing to cut staff and bonuses in reaction to declining revenues. Perhaps Merrill really needs the dough. 

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