The next domino toppled today for floor-based specialists, as Bear Stearns announced it will write down the value of its specialist business, Bear Wagner, by $225 million. Firms all along Wall Street have been re-evaluating their specialist staff as the New York Stock Exchange has implemented its Hybrid market and shuttered one of its trading floors. Other firms to have slashed specialist numbers include UBS, Bank of America, Credit Suisse and Van der Moolen. "Obviously these are changing and challenging times for the specialist business," commented James E. Cayne, CEO of The Bear Stearns Companies Inc., in a release. <b>"The implementation of the NYSE hybrid system has dramatically reduced the opportunity of specialists to earn an appropriate return and has necessitated the write down of the intangible assets to accurately reflect the current value of the business.</b> "Bear Wagner has been supportive of the Exchange's implementation of its hybrid system but it is becoming painfully clear that the specialist system, and the value that it brings to the investing public with regard to trading transparency, committing capital and providing liquidity, is rapidly approaching the point where it is no longer a viable business model," lamented Peter Murphy, CEO of Bear Wagner, in the announcement. Bear Wagner represents more than 350 publicly traded listings. The division will be rolled into Bear Stearns' Global Equities business. http://www.wallstreetandtech.com/bl...l;jsessionid=ZFI4RWNLYWA1QQSNDLRCKH0CJUNN2JVN ************ Interesting post about response to the new Hybrid market from inside the beast... cj..