Some people binge on food. Others on booze. Still others, on things we won't write about here. For Merrill Lynch, without question, its drug of choice was CDOs. And that has analysts buzzing ahead of the financial giant's earnings report scheduled for Thursday morning.
The latest has Merrill cutting 10-15 percent of its staff as it absorbs another $4.5 billion in write-downs on those esoteric and amazingly worthless securities known as CDOs of ABS. (We really should start calling them subprime recyclables, but who's counting at this point?)