"There Was a Discrepancy With Reality" is not the best thing we've heard all week. The best thing we've heard all week is analyst Jeff Harte's explanation of Merrill Lynch's $1.2 billion Q1 non-cash charge:
"At first glance $1.2 billion is a startlingly large number," said analyst Jeff Harte of Sandler O'Neill & Partners LP. "However, we remind investors that the charge represents early recognition of expenses that would otherwise have been recognized in future periods, as opposed to the creation of a new expense."
He's right, but $1.2 billion is a startlingly large number at second glance, too.
Merrill Lynch Shares Down After Charge [MSN]