Sunday, March 16, 2008

Bear, Stearns: SOLD!!! for $2/Share: "Free Trade"?

Yah, it was once $159.+/share.

And the Fed is throwing a helluvalotta money into the deal, too. See below--this is NOT "Free Trade," folks...

Bear Stearns shares close Friday at $30 a share. At their peak, the shares traded at $159.36.

The stock opened at $53./share on Friday. From $53. to $2. in two days.

The Fed will provide special financing to JPMorgan Chase for the deal, JPMorgan Chase said. The central bank has agreed to fund up to $30 billion of Bear Stearns' less liquid assets. Risky bets on securities tied to subprime mortgages — loans given to customers with poor credit history — crippled Bear Stearns, the nations' fifth-largest investment bank.

At almost the same time as the deal for control of Bear Stearns was announced, the Federal Reserve said it approved a cut in its lending rate to banks to 3.25 percent from 3.50 percent and created another lending facility for big investment banks.

S'pose that the Fed will require Bear Stearns' officers to return last year's bonus, if it was awarded? What about last year's salaries?

More: is it "free trade" when the Fed throws $30 billion or so into a deal to make it good? Was it "free trade" when the Fed inoculated Bank of America against losses on the Countryside portfolio?

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