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Today's Top Videos: Merrill Chief, CDOs & More

Today on CNBC, Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain gave an exclusive interview, and the chairman of Rosen Real Estate Securities claimed that economic recession has only just begun. What follows are today's top videos:

Thain on Merrill's Next Move

“When we had the opportunity to sell [CDOs], and to sell them in a bulk sale, which obviously has a bulk discount price to it, and to raise the capital at the same time, we took advantage of that opportunity because it’s a great reduction trade, it puts us in a much better position to manage our business going forward and with the capital, we’re very well capitalized.”

--John Thain, CEO, Merrill Lynch

Whitney’s Wisdom

“Citi was the easiest call of the past year because this was before a lot of the CDO write-downs. In the third quarter, a lot of the financials took levered lending write-downs. We didn’t know about the CDO write-downs. But what you did know about Citi was that they’d gone through a massive acquisition spree for about 2-years without growing their capital base. And so, on a relative basis, they were under-capitalized.

--Meredith Whitney, Director of Equity Research, Oppenheimer & Co.

Recession Has Just Begun: Rosen

“We’re going to have another leg-down in the housing market because the recession has just begun. Usually 85 percent of the mortgage foreclosure problem comes from people losing their jobs, not being able to make their payments. But what we’ve been having so far is that because of the housing bubble imploding, because of the inappropriate mortgages made to 3 to 5 million people who can’t make those payments.”

--Kenneth Rosen, Chairman, Rosen Real Estate Securities

Dow Is Heading for 10,000

“I think you’ll recall the numerous times I’ve said, even starting in spring 2007 that recession is inevitable in the U.S. and it would likely start in the fourth quarter of 2007. I always believed that then was the time recession was going to start. It doesn’t matter what the statisticians say, it you’d walk around the streets in the middle of America; we are in the middle of a recession. And that’s all that really matters.”

--Kirby Daley, Strategist, Newedge Group

Maria's Market Message

“The Federal Reserve’s latest meeting on interest rates should move the markets on Tuesday, or at least be a catalyst for stocks. It was a big drop, however, in the price of oil impacting stocks on Monday. Crude oil tumbling again, another $3.94 a barrel to finish at $121.16 a barrel. That’s a 3 percent decline because of the increasing likelihood that the tropical storm Edouard will not affect production in the Gulf of Mexico.”

--Maria Bartiromo, CNBC’s Closing Bell

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