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Morgan Stanley: Okay, We're Thinking Of A Number Between 1 And 4 Billion. Analysts: 1 Billion. Morgan Stanley: You Are Way Off Base.

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[Alternative headline: Morgan Stanley: Okay, We're Thinking Of A Number Between 1 And 4 Billion. Know What It Is? Analysts: Your Credit Score. Your 900 Number. Your- MS: Stop. None Of These Are Right. None Of Them. Analysts: The Number Saltines John Mack Can Eat In A Minute Without Water. MS: Wrong...But Also Right...If You're Picking Up What We're Throwing Down. Preference?]
Morgan Stanley beat analysts' expectations for how badly this last quarter went, when it announced a net loss of $3.59 billion ($3.61/share), compared to last year's net income of $1.54 billion ($1.44/share). Analysts had previously predicted losses of 39 cents/share. The extra dollar or so probably has something to do with the $9.4 billion in write-downs, and unforseen costs related to MSIM's holiday party at the China Club last week. Speaking of China (Investment Corp.), the sovereign wealth fund was on hand to soften the negative $450 million revenue blow, by acquiring a 9.9 percent stake in the company, as China is wont to do. (Watch as it blows up in their faces, it'll be funny.) Also helpful for distracting from the facts was CEO John Mack's comment that "these [are] isolated losses by a small trading team in one part of the firm." I don't want to say we're hoping that the entire team is going to get laid off, because we're not, but should it come to that, wouldn't it be nice if they could go out in style? You know what to do.
Morgan Stanley Swings to Loss Amid Mortgage-Related Woes [WSJ]