Bloomberg News

Morgan Stanley Had Trading Losses 15 Days in Last Quarter

August 06, 2012

Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman

James Gorman, chairman and chief executive officer of Morgan Stanley. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg

Morgan Stanley (MS:US), which had the largest trading-revenue drop among major U.S. banks last quarter, lost money in that business on 15 days in the period, up from eight days a year earlier.

The firm’s traders generated more than $100 million on three days in the period, compared with seven days in the second quarter of 2011, the New York-based company said today in a regulatory filing. None of the daily losses exceeded the firm’s value-at-risk, a measure of how much the bank estimates it could lose on 95 percent of days.

Morgan Stanley had a 48 percent year-over-year decrease in trading revenue, excluding accounting gains, led by a 60 percent drop in fixed-income revenue. Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat, 54, said last month that some clients shied away from doing business with the bank as they waited to see whether Moody’s Investors Service would cut the firm’s credit rating two or three grades. Moody’s lowered the assessment two levels in June.

Trading revenue accounted for 40 percent of the firm’s total in 2011. Chief Executive Officer James Gorman, 54, said last month he will shrink the fixed-income trading business to free up capital. He plans to reduce so-called risk-weighted assets in the unit by 30 percent from the third quarter of 2011 through the end of 2014.

Bank of America Corp. (BAC:US), the second-largest U.S. lender, said in a filing last week that it recorded trading losses on three days in the quarter, with the largest loss at $11 million.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael J. Moore in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scheer at

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Companies Mentioned

  • MS
    (Morgan Stanley)
    • $32.34 USD
    • -1.00
    • -3.09%
  • BAC
    (Bank of America Corp)
    • $15.25 USD
    • -0.33
    • -2.16%
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