Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Déjà Frikkin' Vu

Another day, another bloodbath...

The Dow shed 450 points in the second largest sell-off this year. Considering that the largest occurred only two days ago, this is beginning to feel like a gang-bang! Once again it was financial stocks that got battered, in particular Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, the last two independent investment banks left standing. MS dropped 28% from its Tuesday close and GS dropped 19%, leading some observers (ok, only me) to wonder - if their stocks took such a battering the day after they announced results in which they beat analysts' consensus estimates, what else is there left to say?

The fierce, and relentless, pounding has started to make dents in the MS edifice at least. It has started preliminary merger talks with Wachovia. Perhaps MS CEO John Mack wants to ahead of the game, a la Merrill Lynch, but I sure hope he knows what he's doing. Now that the market has sniffed MS blood in the water, if he has started something he cannot finish and these talks go nowhere, things could get very ugly for MS indeed.

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