Wednesday, March 19, 2008

News: Greedy Corporation Gets Too Greedy, Taken Over by Another Greedy Corporation

The reports I'm hearing make it sound like the collapse of Bear Stearns (NYSE: BSC) is a national tragedy: Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson had to work over the weekend, people! JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM) continued its hundred year old tradition of robber baron-dom and bought out Bear Stearns, which was worth ten billion dollars at the start of the year, for about two-hundred thirty million dollars, which happens to be less than the value of Bear Stearn's office tower. And JPMorgan, which is a multi-billion dollar corporation in its own right, made this acquisition through a government grant — your taxpayer dollars at work. That's the real bullshit: "Secretary Henry, why JPMorgan? You could've given me $230 million dollars and I would've spent it on Bear Stearns." I might have taken a couple hundred out of that gift for a new iPod or something.

I have zero sympathy for Bear Stearns' 14,000 now-redundant employees, who were all riding high during the real estate boom, buying junk mortgages (sort of) with money that didn't exist (sort of). Poor traders, losing their six-figure bonuses, and their country club memberships. There's a twinge of regret for Bear's non-trading staff, but I consider them to be enablers who share responsibility for the mortgage crisis.