In what is likely to be its last quarterly report as an independent company, Wachovia Corp. laid bare the balance-sheet issues that pushed the Charlotte company to the brink of failure and into the arms of two prospective buyers.

To clean house before selling itself to Wells Fargo & Co., the winning bidder, Wachovia recorded a staggering third-quarter loss of $23.9 billion, or $11.18 a share. The loss included a litany of hits, the biggest being an $18.8 billion goodwill charge largely associated with the 2006 purchase of Golden West Financial Corp.

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