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The recent collapse of the fifth largest investment bank in America, Bear Stearns, has left a lot of people surprised and bewildered. It seems they took the word of the experts at face value, when they should have known that some experts are paid to lie all the way to bankruptcy.
The same happened to Enron not long ago, and to virtually every other big company that is about to go bankrupt.
Bear Stearns stock was selling for $90 a share a short time ago. The company was finally sold at a fire sale to J.P. Morgan for $2 a share. I don't know how many retirement and pension funds were lost entirely, but this was a very large company handling many billions of dollars worth of such investment funds. Watch as other companies are forced to announce that their pension funds are broke.
On the AOL News today, we read:
"You're going to have some very weak players pushed out of business," said Joseph V. Battipaglia, chief investment officer at Ryan Beck & Co. He said JPMorgan's buy of Bear Stearns and Bank of America Corp.'s acquisition of mortgage lender Countrywide Financial Corp. are probably not the only rescues the industry will witness during this credit crisis."
In other words, expect more such failures to occur. And don't expect the officials of near-bankrupt banks to tell you the truth until after they have safely filed their bankruptcy papers. They don't want anyone withdrawing their money or selling their stock ahead of time. The news continues:
"The market has absolutely no idea what's going on," said Dan Alpert, managing director of Westwood Capital. "Some people have accused them of whistling past the graveyard - I don't think they even know where the graveyard is."
Oh, yes, they know. They just don't want to tell anyone else where the bodies are. Like I have said before, it is the job of politicians to lie in order to prevent a panic. It is the job of bankrupt company officials to lie in order to keep people from hastening their demise by selling their stock. I really do understand that. Anyone who does NOT understand their job description, however, is likely to believe their lies and then wonder why they got burned. So I hope they will forgive me for being skeptical of their ability to tell the truth.
If all these companies went broke at the same time, people would have a better chance of understanding the seriousness of the problem. But because they go broke one at a time, the bad news is spread out over a period of months and even years. Each new casualty is said to be the last, and each new low is said to be the bottom. So people tend to forget that the water is getting hot until they are well boiled.
The Fed cut interest rates again. Whenever it does so, the markets rally initially, only to discover that it has little or no effect on the underlying problem. Meanwhile, the dollar collapses. It went down 17 percent last year, and if the current rate of plunge continues, the dollar will be down 72 percent this year. These figures indicate the historic collapse of an empire.