Merrill's Exposure to Bond Insurers About $3.5 Billion

Merrill Lynch Chief Executive John Thain said Wednesday the company's net exposure to troubled monoline bond insurers is about $3.5 billion.

Thain outlined Merrill's exposure to the monoline bond insurers during a presentation at Citigroup's financial services conference in New York.

He said if monolines "disappeared from the face of the Earth" they would owe Merrill Lynch about $6 billion. Thain said he didn't expect that to happen.

In any case, Merrill has reserved $2.6 billion against the $6 billion, leaving about $3.5 billion in monoline exposure, Thain said.