Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Gee Sorry

This morning there's a good blow-by-blow of the demise of Bear Stearns, and also some better numbers about the extreme haircuts administered to Bear Stearns principals and executives when the firm was forced to sell itself to JP Morgan for the laughable price of $2 a share.

For example, take Bear Stearns chairman James E. Cayne. "A billionaire just over a year ago when Bear’s stock soared past $160, his 5.8 million shares are now worth about $28 million at Monday’s closing price of $4.81."

"Bear executives were not big stock sellers, and their shrunken net worth has spread a viral resentment throughout the firm as employees of all ranks contemplate their reduced circumstances and search for scapegoats." "Shrunken" is a euphemism here for "crumbled into dust." As in, the birds were singing and people were calling out prices in the Baghdad bird market, and then the bomb went off. 79 were killed.

Bear Stearns was a shark that even the other sharks found too sharkish. So dry your tears. But where are the corporate lench mobs, heading for the smiling ninnies in this picture?

Fake a little concern, W - it would look "presidential."

Naturally the only man not smiling in this picture is the chairman of the Federal Reserve.

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