Monday, March 17, 2008

Bear Stearns Collapses:

JP Morgan is buying the company, recently valued at well over $100 a share, and selling for over $50 as recently as last Thursday, for $2 a share. Bear Stearns is a victim of the subprime debacle. What's next? Perhaps the collapse of large hedge funds that leveraged their investments in mortgage-backed securities? A similar collapse of a major international bank like Citicorp?

I've said it before (e.g.), and I'll say it again. I simply didn't, and still don't, understand how anyone could have thought that giving people, often people with terrible credit histories, mortgages with no money down and often with no documentation of income--and after an unprecedented increase in prices left the market especially vulnerable to a downturn in prices--was a good idea. Maybe if I had studied for an MBA in Harvard and worked my way up to the top of the investment banking industry it would somehow have made sense to me.

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