Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday Night Financial Crisis

You know it's a bad day on Wall Street when CNBC goes live on a Sunday night at 10 PM to cover the imminent demise of Lehman Brothers and the sale of Merrill Lynch to Bank of America.

Former deputy Secretary of Treasury Roger Altman just said on CNBC this is the worst financial crisis he has seen in 39 years.

Of the 5 investment banks that existed at the beginning of the year (Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Bear Sterns, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley), as of tomorrow only Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs will exist.

In addition, mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are now essentially owned by the government after last week's bailout.

Rumors swirl that Washington Mutual and AIG will be the next to go belly-up.

And there have also been rumors about Citigroup and Wachovia for awhile now.

13 months into this credit crisis, stemming from all the bad home mortgages handed out by financial institutions, chopped up and then sold to investors, we keep hearing that the worst is over, the worst is over.

But the worst hasn't been over - not by a long shot.

And it still may not be over yet.

Altman said on CNBC it isn't.

Former Fed chair Uncle Alan Greenspan said the same thing today on ABC News - he called this a "once in a lifetime crisis."

And Uncle Alan should know - he helped run the deregulated environment that created this mess in the first place.

Should be an interesting day on Wall Street tomorrow.
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