Thursday, October 02, 2008

Best roller coaster ride EVER

Well, by now everyone knows the market closed down 350 pts. And it was not all about the worry over the House and the Boondoggle Paulson Rescue Plan. Speaking of which, I faxed the Illinois delegation and Dems who voted YES the first time, telling them to vote NO. Not only did the Senate basically leave the plan unchanged, but added $150 billion MORE in pork.

And now, on to the news:
Anyone out there a Bank of America customer? Well, read on: BofA is converting several systems simultaneously on the weekend of October 17-19. And now for anecdotal (aka inside information): my new boss is a refugee from LaSalle Bank. She & her entire department were given the boot by BofA, but she still has plenty of colleagues on board there. And they forwarded her internal emails about BofA converting several systems over the same weekend.
Does that strike you as odd? It did to us too!
The friends on the inside went on to advise: print out copies of all your accounts right before that weekend so you have proof of your monies. Also, take out sizeable chunks of cash for a "just-in-case" scenario.
And now I'm reading the same thing on Dealbreaker!

Tomorrow is the first Friday of the month and that means the unemployment numbers come out. Whoopee!

The Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffet himself, who just picked big chunks of Goldman Sachs and GE* on the cheap, remarked: ". . . a global credit crisis he calls an "economic Pearl Harbor."
*GE, while assuring us it is perfectly fine, eliminated its dividend payment.

It's not just the U.S. panicking over the growing depression. Let's take a look around the world:
PM Brown irritated with Irish. Ireland on Thursday announced it would backstop liabilities & guarantee deposits of its six biggest banks. Brown said Ireland was poaching business from the U.K.
Over in Germany & France, a fight breaks out over a rescue fund. That is, France wants one for the Eurozone and Germany doesn't.
German response was "the crisis was U.S.-centered and suggested European governments are overreacting if they pursue coordinated plans for bank bailouts."
British reaction: "also sceptical about the idea of a pan-European fund, preferring to tackle crises on an ad hoc basis."
Meanwhile, the rest of the world is acutely aware the Eurozone has no institutions or processes to react to a bank failure (like a UK's Northern Rock or US' WaMu). And they're pulling out of the Euro.

And right on cue, the UK informs its citizens that the terror threat is at CRTICAL levels. And if you're wondering, yep - they're blaming Al Qaeda. How handy.

Nouriel Roubini, NYU Economics professor who predicted much of the course of the meltdown, was on a web call hosted by Riskmetrics. The WSJ beat reporter notes "And that’s not the scariest part, he says! The scariest part is that, every time the government steps up its response, the market reaction gets weaker and weaker."
And he's right. Even if the bailout passes, it won't help the markets (although Bush/Paulson will claim it's because the House dithered). But Paulson/Bernanke have been throwing everything including the kitchen sink at the problem since August 2007 and you know where we're at today.

Meanwhile, Benelux's second bank (Fortis was first) gets a bailout: Dexia gets 6.4 billion Euro.

Best roller coaster ride EVER.

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