After Frantic Day, Wall Street Banks Falter

Andrew Ross Sorkin, The New York Times: "In one of the most dramatic days in Wall Street’s history, Merrill Lynch agreed to sell itself on Sunday to Bank of America for roughly $50 billion to avert a deepening financial crisis, while another prominent securities firm, Lehman Brothers, said it would seek bankruptcy protection and hurtled toward liquidation after it failed to find a buyer. The humbling moves, which reshape the landscape of American finance, mark the latest chapter in a tumultuous year in which once-proud financial institutions have been brought to their knees as a result of hundreds of billions of dollars in losses because of bad mortgage finance and real estate investments."

Big Banks Go Bust: Time to Reform Wall Street

Dean Baker, The Campaign for America's Future: "With the demise of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, IndyMac, Bear Stearns and now Lehman Brothers, we've been treated to the failure of more major financial firms than during any year since the Great Depression. The sight of rich bankers getting the boot might be lots of fun if it were just a spectator sport. Unfortunately, we are in the game with these clowns."

Wall Street Crisis Is Culmination of 28 Years of Deregulation

David Lightman, McClatchy Newspapers: "No one cog in the federal government's machine of financial regulation let down the country by failing to prevent the latest shakeout on Wall Street. The entire system did. 'They just haven't done a particularly good job,' said James Barth, a senior finance fellow at the Milken Institute, a nonpartisan research group based in Los Angeles. Kathleen Day, a spokeswoman for the Center for Responsible Lending, a consumer-oriented research group, explained the regulatory lapses more starkly: 'The job of regulators is that when the party's in full swing, make sure the partygoers drink responsibly,' she said. 'Instead, they let everyone drink as much as they wanted and then handed them the car keys.'"

Lack of Government Regulation Led to Troubles Plaguing Wall Street

Beth Healy, The Boston Globe: "Amid a wave of unprecedented Wall Street failures and government bailouts, Representative Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, holds a powerful post in the oversight of the nation's financial system. He is holding a number of hearings on these issues, including one today on the auction-rate securities scandal that has forced Wall Street to buy back nearly $60 billion in investments from customers."


Capital Punishment: Lehman on its way to the Gallows?

By Mike Whitney

The funny thing about capitalism is that you need capital to play. When the bank-vault is full of nothing but worthless mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and overvalued junk bonds; the whole thing goes belly-up fast.

`Tectonic' Shift on Wall Street as Lehman Fails, Merrill Sold

By Christine Harper

In the biggest reshaping of the financial industry since the Great Depression, two of Wall Street's most storied firms, Merrill Lynch & Co. and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., headed toward extinction.

Financial Russian Roulette


2008 could be 1931 revisited.

The Crash of Western Capitalist Civilization?

By Richard_C_Cook

"Train-wreck" doesn't even begin to describe what is starting to happen to the U.S. today with the financial crisis, an onrushing depression, and the failure of George W. Bush's war policy as he is faced down by Iran and the Russian bear. But in an even broader sense, the West, as a civilization, after a century of world war and the utter failure of global finance capitalism, may have reached its limits.

Lehman Workers Clear Desks, Weep After Bankruptcy

Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.'s employees worldwide are clearing their desks, waiting to hear if they'll be paid, and starting to look for work after the investment bank filed for the biggest bankruptcy in history.

Wake-Up Call: Lehman's Mortgage Marks

Anyone else holding large amounts of tainted mortgages has to worry. Lehman's potential unwinding, along with any aggressive actions by Merrill and AIG to offload mortgage assets, could mean widespread losses as other banks mark down their own holdings.

The next big bang is private equity

Wall Street is in crisis, undoubtedly the worst in history, as one tarnished giant after another topples. The real problem, though, is no one can tell where it will end.

Wilbur Ross: Possibly a Thousand Banks Will Close

In an exclusive interview with, Wilbur Ross, chairman and CEO of WL Ross & Co., says he sees possibly as many as a thousand bank closures in the coming months.

How the Masters of the Universe Ran Amok and Cost us the Earth

By Bill Jamieson

SLAM. Slam. Slam. Slam. Like a scene from a gathering of Mafia dons, the doors of 30 black Lincolns slammed shut as their besuited occupants stepped out into a Manhattan downpour - and into a global financial storm. That storm broke yesterday, with stock markets tumbling around the world. In London, the FTSE 100 plunged almost 4 per cent to 5204.2. - In the US, the Dow Jones industrial average suffered its biggest fall since 9/11.

From Information Clearing House


More Financial Turmoil to Come


The Glories of Change


Creative destruction on Wall Street

The Nation
by William Greider


The epic deflation of Wall Street rolls forward like a blood-spattered steam roller, claiming more important victims. It takes down noble old names like Merrill and Lehman Brothers, destroys the savings of large pension funds and mom-and-pop investors, throws tens of thousands of financial workers out of jobs. But let’s not dwell on the downside. This is the process Joseph A. Schumpeter famously described as ‘creative destruction’ — capitalism’s way of clearing away debris from the past so that new flowers may bloom. In this drama, what is being swept away is the monumental arrogance of celebrated financiers, also the fraudulent gimmicks that created lots of new billionaires by selling bad paper to the world’s investors. A great bubble of wealth grew in the canyons of Wall Street–a run-up of falsified financial assets that lasted for roughly twenty-five years. Now the air is rushing out of that balloon, no way to stop it...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


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