Sunday, September 14, 2008

How Wall Street Can Save Itself. And: Bank of America Reaches Deal for Merrill (BAC; MER)

Three headlines from the Dow Jones empire. You think of all the history (first draft thereof) that DJ and the WSJ have reported since Charlie Dow* started the "Customer's Afternoon Letter" in 1883 and this has to rank as one of the more eventful evenings the Street has seen.
From the Wall Street Journal:

In a rushed bid to ride out the storm sweeping American finance, 94-year-old Merrill Lynch & Co. agreed late Sunday to sell itself to Bank of America Corp. for roughly $44 billion.

The deal, which was being worked out in 48 hours of frenetic negotiating, could instantly reshape the U.S. banking landscape, making the nation's prime behemoth even bigger. The boards of the two companies approved the deal Sunday evening, according to people familiar with the matter....MORE

And in Monday's Abreast of the Market:

A Chaotic Sunday Opens Wall Street's Week

Investors are going to be staring in the face of moral hazard when markets open Monday.

The collapse of Wall Street firm Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. coupled with a deal on insurer American International Group Inc. and talks between Bank of America and Merrill Lynch & Co. could cause a decline, particularly among financial stocks, when markets open....MUCH MORE

From Deal Journal:

How Wall Street Can Save Itself

Even as Lehman Brothers Holdings was feeling the pressure from its plummeting stock price, some were saying, “Merrill Lynch is next.”

Merrill Lynch? Its fate is, like, so two hours ago. Lehman is near its endgame and Merrill is being acquired by Bank of America.

So is it Judgment Day at last for Wall Street? If only the industry were so lucky. In truth, Wall Street still faces a world of hurt, and it will take more than one day to set it to rights. What happened to Lehman and Merrill will reverberate for months, if not years, through the investment-banking industry. Meantime, other Wall Street firms will have to react fast to make sure they have adequate capital and, just as importantly, the market’s confidence....MORE

*If you do a Google search for Charlie Dow (no quotes needed), I am pleased to say, Climateer Investing comes up as the number two hit with "How Now Dow Jones". I think it's the
"Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!
Four shots ripped into my groin, and I was off on the biggest adventure of my life..."
that Google likes.
(who knows? brighter folks than I have tried to figure out the algorithms)