'The World As We Know It Is Going Down'
And then came the announcement that would dominate all of Thursday's market activities: Morgan Stanley -- the venerable Wall Street institution and one of the last two US investment banks left standing -- had lost massive amounts and was fighting for survival. Media reports were saying that it was even in talks about a possible bail-out or merger. Rumor had it that possible suitors might include Wachovia or China's Bank Citic.
"Folks," economist Larry Kudlow, a host on the business channel CNBC begged his viewers that evening, "don't give up on this great country!"
Republican Party presidential candidate John McCain had the most to say. On Monday, he said "the foundation of our economy" was "strong," adding that he opposed a government-led bailout of US insurer AIG. But now he's promising further government steps "to prevent the kind of wild speculation that can put our markets at risk." McCain's explanation for the current crisis: "unbridled corruption and greed."
Hah!...Yeah...he should know.
But Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama didn't move past superficialities, either. "We're Americans. We've met tough challenges before and we can again."
What else are they supposed to say? After all, US presidents have very little influence on stockmarkets. And Wall Street is expecting the status quo for the next president. On Wednesday an almost palpable mix of tension and melancholy filled the air above New York's Financial District. The beloved trader bar Bull Run was half empty, and many tables were free at fine-dining establishments like Cipriani, Mangia and Bobby Van's, which are normally booked days in advance.
The bright side of this is you don't have to worry about who's leading the presidential race...it doesn't really matter who wins anyway...we're all fucked.
But hey...The FDIC is starting a PR campaign soon...don't worry.