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It has been reported that JPMorgan Chase & Co. will be purchasing Bear Stearns (BSC) in an all-stock transaction that works out to $2/share.
"NEW YORK (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co said on Sunday it would buy stricken rival Bear Stearns for just $2 a share in an all-stock deal valuing the fifth largest investment bank at about $236 million.
Under the deal, the Federal Reserve will provide special financing and has agreed to fund up to $30 billion of Bear Stearns' less liquid assets.
In a statement, JPMorgan said it would exchange 0.05473 shares of its stock for one share of Bear Stearns' stock. It is guaranteeing the trading obligations of Bear Stearns and its subsidiaries."
Take a look at the chart for Bear Stearns from StockCharts.com:
It is enough to make you sick.
Let's just take a look at a few other financials:
The chart for Citigroup (C) from StockCharts.com:
Or the chart for Merrill Lynch:
How low can these go?
And if that's not enough, here is the dollar-yen chart:
Just something to think about as we await the markets
An interesting footnote is the important role that JP Morgan has played in prior stock market melt-downs. An excellent review is found in The Big Picture, as they reflected on the 1929 crash:
"Thursday Oct. 24, 1929: For so many months so many people had saved money and borrowed money and borrowed on their borrowings to possess themselves of the little pieces of paper by virtue of which they became partners in U. S. Industry. Now they were trying to get rid of them even more frantically than they had tried to get them. Stocks bought without reference to their earnings were being sold without reference to their dividends. At around noon there came the no-bid menace. Even in a panic-market, someone must buy the "dumped" shares, but stocks were dropping from 2 to 10 points between sales—losing from 2 to 10 points before a buyer could be found for them. Sound stocks at shrunk prices—and nobody to buy them. It looked as if U. S. Industries' little partners were in a fair way to bankrupt the firm.
Then at 1:30 p. m., a popular broker and huntsman named Richard F. Whitney strode through the mob of desperate traders, made swiftly for Post No. 2 where, under the supervision of specialists like that doughty warrior, General Oliver C. Bridgeman, the stock of the United States Steel Corp., most pivotal of all U. S. stocks, is traded in. Steel too, had been sinking fast. Having broken down through 200, it was now at 190. If it should sink further, Panic with its most awful leer, might surely take command. Loudly, confidently at Post No. 2, Broker Whitney made known that he offered $205 per share for 25,000 shares of Steel—an order for $5,000,000 worth of stock at 15 points above the market. Soon tickers were flashing the news: "Steel, 205 bid.'' More and more steel was bought, until 200,000 shares had been purchased against constantly rising quotations. Other buyers bought other pivotal stocks. In an hour General Electric was up 21 points, Montgomery Ward up 23, Radio up 16, A. T. & T. up 22. How far the market would have gone downward on its unchecked momentum is difficult to say. But brokers and traders alike agreed that the man who bid 205 for 25,000 shares of Steel had made himself a hero of a financially historic moment.
That hero, Richard Whitney, head of Richard Whitney & Co., was brother of George Whitney, Morgan Partner. Back of his action lay a noontime meeting held at No. 23 Wall St., Home of the House of Morgan. Although an excited Hearst reporter would have it that the Head of the House was present, actually, John Pierpont Morgan was in Europe. It was Partner Thomas W. Lament with whom conferred Charles E. Mitchell, National City Bank; William C. Potter, Guaranty Trust; Albert H. Wiggin, Chase National Bank; Seward Prosser, Bankers Trust. These men controlled resources of more than $6,000,000,000. They met briefly; they issued no formal statement. But to newsmen, Mr. Lamont remarked that brokerage houses were in excellent condition, that the liquidation appeared technical rather than fundamental. He also conveyed, without specifically committing himself, the impression that the banks were ready to support the market. And the meeting was hardly over before Hero Whitney had become Heroic.
Traders, talking over the Morgan meeting, failed to remember any previous occasion on which a stock market conference had been called while a trading session was still in progress. They did recall, however, that in 1907, with call money at 125%. Secretary of the Treasury Cortelyou conferred with J. P. Morgan, put $25,000,000 of Government funds into Manhattan banks, halted the Panic. They remembered too the Northern Pacific crash of 1901. when, after Northern Pacific stock had gone overnight from $150 to $1,000 a share, the House of Morgan, representing the late great James J. Hill and the House of Kuhn, Loeb, representing the late great Edward H. Harriman, compromised at $150 a share, saved from ruin many a short. Then there was the U. S.-England war scare of 1895 when, with money at 80%, J. P. Morgan offered money at 6%, averted a threatened crash.
Thus bankers have for a long time recognized their responsibilities as panic-preventers, and when the glass house of speculation has cracked and splintered, it has most often been the strong House of Morgan that has assumed the responsibility of fame and brought order out of confusion." (emphasis added)"
Anyhow, it may not be 1929, but then again, it is indeed JPMorgan Chase that is possibly (?) averting another crisis.
Yours in investing,