Analysts said E*Trade will have to pursue strategic alternatives, such as a deal or sale of some assets, after large losses in its mortgage business. However, its complex balance sheet, which combines banking and brokerage assets, will make it tough to split the two businesses.
“E*Trade’s bet on the mortgage business, which seemed so smart just a few years ago, has destroyed the firm’s profitability,” said Octavio Marenzi, chief executive of Celent, a Boston-based financial research and consulting firm. “Selling the firm is about the only strategic alternative left at this stage,” he added.
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