A survey by Pluris Valuation Advisors shows 57 percent of companies holding auction rate securities have taken writedowns on those holdings, according to the Financial Times, with losses totaling over $2 billion. A previous study found writedowns of $1.85 billion at the end of May.
Pluris President Espen Robak said he expected the number of companies reporting writedowns to get close to 100 percent as companies make second-quarter disclosures.
The Times reports companies used the highly-rated securities as a place to hold cash. Earlier this year banks withdrew support for the securities, leaving investors with illiquid paper and no way to get rid of it.