MBIA Inc. Monday night reported a net loss of $1.2 billion for the fourth quarter of 2008, compared to a net loss of $2.3 billion a year earlier.

It attributed the loss to a $1.7 billion pre-tax unrealized net loss on insured derivatives and a $534 million pre-tax net realized loss on insured derivatives. Offsetting that was $267 million in premiums earned, $264 million in pre-tax net investment income, $198 million in pre-tax net unrealized gains on the financial instruments at fair value and foreign exchange, and $91 million in pre-tax net gains on the extinguishment of debt.

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