Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A financial crisis unmatched ...

The market is slipping at the rate of 1,500 points per month.

For those of my Gentle Readers who are not aware of my reading habits, it should be known that I subscribe to a number of financial newsletters, such as MarketWatch, The Financial Times, The Economist, RGE Monitor, etc. Lately, as I peruse the contents of my inbox, I feel like I'm standing on the Lip of the Abyss, and I'm getting vertigo.

Here's one of the more benign MS's I've received recently, this one from the Top Story page of the UK Guardian.

A financial crisis unmatched since the Great Depression, say analysts

* Larry Elliott, economics editor
* The Guardian,
* Tuesday March 18 2008

This article appeared in the Guardian on Tuesday March 18 2008. It was last updated at 00:09 on March 18 2008.

A century after John Pierpont Morgan rescued the New York stockmarket from a 50% sell off in share prices, his blue-blooded Wall Street bank was yesterday once again at the heart of attempts to contain the deepening global financial crisis.

In an echo of the "bankers' panic" of 1907, JP Morgan responded to what is being billed as a meltdown of historic proportions by agreeing to buy its stricken rival, Bear Stearns.

The length and severity of the crisis that broke over global markets last summer has had analysts delving into their history books. George Soros, who was largely responsible for Black Wednesday, the last bout of serious financial turmoil to afflict the UK, believes there has been nothing to match the events of the past nine months since the Great Depression.

Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the Fed and the man blamed by many for setting off the boom-bust in the US housing market, agrees with the man who broke the Bank of England. Writing in the Financial Times yesterday, Greenspan said: "The current financial crisis in the US is likely to be judged as the most wrenching since the end of the second world war." [More...]

Greenspan, as you may recall, is the guy who helped engineer this pile of monkey dung in the first place, so I wouldn't put too much credence in his optimism.

St Valentine's Day is past, but we have another holiday coming up. Future historians might call this particular piece of work the Easter Egg Hunt That Went South.

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