http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/24/b...d82680a2206bbe&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss Merrill Lynch is expected to report today that it will add about $2.5 billion more to the $5 billion worth of write-downs it has already announced, according to a person briefed on the situation. Merrill reports its third-quarter earnings this morning. The bank announced earlier this month that it expected to write down $5 billion because of losses in its fixed-income unit. Most of the losses, the bank said, were tied to the decline in value of complex debt instruments called collateralized debt obligations, whose value has diminished in recent months as credit markets have been hit by a collapse in the subprime mortgage market. A Merrill spokesman declined to comment. The additional write-down, coming so soon after the companyâs $5 billion charge, may raise more questions about the leadership of E. Stanley OâNeal, Merrillâs chief executive, and the ability of his top executives to assess the firmâs risk exposure. ThatÂ´s really funny. Merrill has been the one which started the subprime mess unwinding by demanding higher collateral for BearÂ´s High Grade Structured Credit Strategies Enhanced Leverage Fund. And now it seems they are in deep sh.t ! Harm set, harm get !