Sunday, March 16, 2008

Eating the Bear

Last night I was on the Amtrak heading back to Washington D.C. reading the weekend Financial Times. There are a few articles about the Bear Sterns bailout. But, what struck me was the timeline one of the articles had. It traces the demise of some of these geniuses of Wall Street but, more importantly the amount of money we taxpayers have been pumping in to correct the mess so far:


Jul 2007 Bear reports hedge fund losses of $1.6bn
Aug 5 Warren Spector quits as Bear co-president
Aug 10 Fed provides $38bn of liquidity to the market
Aug 17 Fed cuts discount rate by 50bp
Sep 11 Joe Lewis, a British billionaire, buys 7 per cent of Bear
Oct 4 Bear cuts 310 more jobs
Oct 29 Stan O'Neal ousted as head of Merrill Lynch
Nov 2 Bond insurers' troubles emerge
Nov 4 Chuck Prince quits as CEO of Citigroup
Dec 8 Joe Lewis raises Bear stake to 8 per cent
Dec 21 Bear reports Q3 loss of $859m
Jan 7 2008 Jimmy Cayne resigns as chief executive
Jan 21 Fed makes emergency 75bp interest rate cut
Mar 7 Fed injects $200bn into market
Mar 10 Bear shares start plunging
Mar 11 Fed delivers an additional $236bn rescue

Along with this money when you add the $156 billion from the "stimulus bill" you can see pretty soon we are talking about some real money that we fellow taxpayers are laying out because these masters of the universe of Wall Street never questioned the words "sub prime". And it's not over yet. File this under "Hola Suckers" taxpayers.

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