Merrill Lynch Denies CFO In Trouble

NEW YORK (AP) – Merrill Lynch & Co. said Monday that Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey Edwards is not in danger of losing his job, after a report on business news channel CNBC that he may be replaced in coming months.

The report said Edwards' job was on the line after he assured analysts on a July 17 conference call that the nation's largest brokerage was mostly protected from the summer's credit crisis. However, Merrill said earlier this month that it will take about $5 billion in third-quarter writedowns because of credit and mortgage woes.

A spokeswoman for Merrill Lynch denied Edwards was in jeopardy of being replaced, and said that he will again lead the company's earnings conference call next week. Merrill reports results next Wednesday.

There have been a number of Wall Street executives who have lost their jobs after giving assurances their banks were protected from the market's recent turmoil. Merrill Lynch last week fired global fixed-income chief Osman Semerci.

Bear Stearns Cos. in August forced out Warren Spector, the company's co-president and head of fixed income. He was seen as a possible successor to Chief Executive James Cayne.

Last week Citigroup Inc. fired trading head Tom Maheras, after the nation's largest bank announced it would take a $5.9 billion writedown due to its exposure to the credit markets.