" The controversial acquisition of Wachovia Corp. wasn’t needed to help push Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC: 19.15 +18.28%) into the red for the first time in seven years, with the San Francisco-based bank saying Wednesday morning that it lost $2.55 billion, or (.79/share), during the fourth quarter of 2008. Wachovia itself — which wasn’t included in the bank’s bottom-line results — recorded a fourth quarter loss of $11.2 billion, including $2.8 billion deferred tax asset write-down, $4.2 billion credit reserve build and $4.3 billion of market disruption losses, Wells Fargo said in a press statement."

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