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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 January 2008, 06:44 GMT
Bear Stearns boss Cayne resigns
James Cayne - file photo
James Cayne had been chief executive since 1993
The chief executive of US investment bank Bear Stearns, James Cayne, has resigned his position amid huge losses from the sub-prime mortgage crisis.

Mr Cayne will stay on as the non-executive chairman of the fifth-largest US investment bank.

The new chief executive will be the bank's president Alan Schwartz.

The bank had to write down $1.9bn (960m) last year as a result of its exposure to sub-prime mortgages, leading it to make its first ever loss.

Bear Stearns has been at the centre of the mortgage debt crisis, which emerged after two of its hedge funds collapsed.

Advisory role

Its shares have fallen more than 50% over the past year, more than any of its competitors in the US.

James Cayne joined the bank in 1969 and was its chief executive from 1993.

He said that his new role as non-executive chairman would be in an "advisory capacity" to Mr Schwartz.

Last year, the chief executives of Citigroup and Merrill Lynch were dismissed after the Wall Street firms reported huge losses from sub-prime lending.

Sub-prime loans are offered to those with poor credit records or unpredictable incomes.

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