Elder Days Story Time

Many and Various Ramblings

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Oh, the monies!
myspicybrains wrote in e_d_s_t
The subprime mortgage crisis has claimed its latest victim: Bear Stearns, one of the world's largest investment banks, has in scarcely a year gone from Fortune's "Most Admired Company" to Wall Street's "Most Likely to Single-handedly Crash the Whole Goddamned Market as Mortgage Securities Become Worthless."

Quoth the Economist:

"In a dramatic move on Friday March 14th, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and JPMorgan Chase made emergency funding available to Bear Stearns after other market players lost confidence in the beleaguered investment bank as a trading partner. As the credit crunch has deepened and broadened, the worst fear of many on Wall Street has been the collapse or forced rescue of a big bank or broker. That moment is now upon them."

Now JP Morgan Chase has announced that, pending shareholder approval, they will purchase Bear Stearns for $236 million, or less than the rent on Bear Stearns's office space.

With such a major crisis just when it seemed we were seeing the bottom of this particular economic well, a question must be asked: Shouldn't an investment bank be named "Bull Stearns"? Isn't a company named "Bear Stearns" just asking for it?

-- Boozin' and losin'

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You think it's bad now?

Dear Boozin',

It's worse than you think. That company was named before the current usage of the term "bear," and in fact uses the word as a verb.

The "Stearns" in the name is also used in the old sense, meaning "severe" or "harsh." To put it another way, they say in semi-plain language that their goal was to usher in a new age of suffering and woe for mankind.

And of course we recall the history of its would-be purchaser's namesake, yes? The exploitation? The monopolies? The reckless ransacking of natural resources in the name of short-term profit? Yes. Yes, we do.

Now, the question is no longer what is in a name. It becomes, "ought this unholy union to be?" On the one hand, evil forces are better off clawing at each others' throats than, say, ours. On the other, having these vile companies, these foes of the world, in one place will make keeping tabs on them a bit easier.

But I know nothing of high finance. Perhaps you should write Alan Greenspan; he's much less busy these days.

Ambivalently Yours,
Elder Days Story Time

I love it when you talk dirty.

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