A Massive Write Off At Westinghouse

The debt binge of the 1980s has produced another hangover. Bad junk bonds and soured loans for hotels and office buildings have Westinghouse Electric executives reaching for aspirin. On Feb. 27, the company announced a drastic restructuring of its financial-services unit, resulting in a $975 million fourth-quarter write-off. As a result, last year's net income was cut from $1 billion to $268 million.

Rather than ride out the current slump, Westinghouse has decided to dump $2.3 billion in real estate assets. In total, the financial-services operation is looking to shed holdings totaling $3 billion, or aboout a third of its $10 billion in assets.

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