Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Last Days of Bear Stearns


1. Lost Opportunities Haunt Final Days of Bear Stearns
2. Fear, Rumors Touched Off Fatal Run on Bear Stearns
3. SEC Will Scour Bear Trading Data

interviews with more than two dozen current and former Bear Stearns executives, directors, traders and others involved in the action paint the first detailed picture of the fractious last weeks before the Fed helped underwrite J.P. Morgan's purchase of the trading powerhouse.
Months before regulators pressured the firm to sell itself, nervous traders futilely begged Mr. Schwartz and his predecessor, James Cayne, to raise more cash and slash Bear Stearns's huge inventory of mortgages and the bonds that backed them.
At 5 a.m., Mr. Geithner convened a conference call with top government officials, including Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson Jr., to discuss the fallout from allowing the brokerage to collapse. They saw ripples spreading to thousands of firms world-wide that would involve trillions of dollars and take days to sort out. As the meeting wore on past the hour mark, Mr. Geithner warned that time was running out. Certain important credit markets were about to open. "What's it going to be?" he demanded.

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