Bear Stearns, Lehman Bros, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac receiving public bailouts or failing and yes even the venerable Merrill Lynch being flogged for a pittance. And insurer AIG seems to need about $40 billion to survive. AIG is a big insurer in Australia with 500 employees. In the UK Hbos looks threatened by the collapse of Lehman. The bad news has not ended - it is only now starting to surface.
3 of the 5 largest investment banks in the US - some around for 150 years - have been wiped out or sold off at bargain basement prices. The asset values a puff of smoke.
I have been caught up with other things the past few days but watching what is unfolding with trepidation. The events over the past few days are a catastrophe beyond belief. I am interested to see what will happen to Macquarie Bank - their shares fell 11% today but I'll watch them today with interest. Babcock and Brown have fallen 94% this year and almost collapsed completely this year as former CEO departed the company completely.
Australian bank stocks generally will certainly continue to retreat but the broader market will also continue to suffer. We will all experience economic costs.
Update: Wall Street dropped 500 points last night. Excellent discussions on the crisis by Malcolm Maiden and Michael West.