This has been an unbelievable few days. The next few look to be more of the same. Here are some thoughts:
- It is strange day when the Wall Street Journal's editorial page calls for a new Resolution Trust Corporation to takeover and liquidate troubled assets.
- Lehman looks like it may be bought after all, sort of. Barclay's is in advanced talks to buy the "good" assets and hire most of Lehman's employees. The "bad" mortgage assets will stay in the bankrupt Lehman shell company. (I wish the press would stop calling Lehman a 160-old firm. It merged with other firms in the 1970s and was acquired by American Express in the 1984 and only spun of again as an independent company in the early 1990s.)
- This blog has been hard on AIG over the years, and today it proved why. I wonder what Warren Buffet saw that he did not like. Lucky Goldman and JP Morgan Chase who Hank Paulson strong-armed into providing up to $75 billion in emergency credit. I guess this is financing to allow an orderly liquidation of AIG assets.
- The market was down 500 points, and a big chunk of the loss happened in the last hour (when the amount of financing AIG needed was made public). I would not have been surprised with a 1,000-point drop, but the end of the session was disturbing.
- Asian markets are horrible this morning.
- Oil is approaching $90. I guess that whole speculator argument, which I always thought was BS, was just that - BS.
- The dollar is tanking, too.
- The market is now expecting a Fed rate cut tomorrow, possibly as much 50 basis points. This will add downward pressure on the dollar. Falling oil prices have given the Fed breathing room on rates.