The Chimperator and the GOP created the no rules and no oversight atmosphere that created the current economic melt down which, just a week after the nationalization of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, has now claimed two of the largest financial firms on Wall Street: Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers. Between the two firms, the fate of some 85,000 jobs are now up in the air. Inasmuch as the McSenile/Palin ticket is in essence offering voters more of the same policies and mindset that created the current economic disaster, why would anyone sane and rational support that ticket? Oops! I forgot, the Christianist base of the GOP is not sane or rational. It is simply mind boggling that anyone with any sense isn't running sceaming away from the GOP ticket. Here are highlights from tomorrow's New York Times looking at the fall of these two former financial giants:
In one of the most dramatic days in Wall Street’s history, Merrill Lynch agreed to sell itself to Bank of America for roughly $50 billion to avert a deepening financial crisis while another prominent securities firm, Lehman Brothers, hurtled toward liquidation after it failed to find a buyer, people briefed on the deals said.*
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 tens of billions of dollars in losses because of bad mortgage finance and real estate investments.
They culminated a weekend of frantic around-the-clock negotiations, as Wall Street bankers huddled in meetings at the behest of Bush administration officials to avoid a downward spiral in the markets stemming from a crisis of confidence. “My goodness. I’ve been in the business 35 years, and these are the most extraordinary events I‘ve ever seen,” said Peter G. Peterson, co-founder of the private equity firm the Blackstone Group, who was head of Lehman in the 1970s and a secretary of commerce in the Nixon administration.
How things play out could affect the broader economy, which has been weakening steadily as the financial crisis has deepened over the last year, with unemployment increasing as the nation’s growth rate has slowed. What will happen to Merrill’s 60,000 employees or Lehman’s 25,000 employees remains unclear. Worried about the unfolding crisis and its potential impact on New York City’s economy, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg canceled a trip to California to meet with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Instead, aides said, Mr. Bloomberg spent much of the weekend working the phones, talking to federal officials and bank executives in an effort to gauge the severity of the crisis.
Lehman’s filing is unlikely to resemble those of other companies that seek bankruptcy protection. Because of the harsher treatment that federal bankruptcy law applies to financial-services firm, Lehman cannot hope to reorganize and survive. It was not clear whether the government would appoint a trustee to supervise Lehman’s liquidation or how big the financial backstop would be.