Bear Stearns no longer

The Wall Street Journal calls it a rescue, but at roughly $2 per share I doubt anyone but the remaining prime brokerage clients and derivative counterparties are looking at it that way.

Monday the company was trading at $70 per share, which sounds more like a bloodbath.

In a short conversation this evening with a friend from the Street, he noted that this was downright ominous. 97% of the market value of the fifth (?) largest investment bank in the world disappeared into thin air in 144 hours. Who else is out there with such destructive off-balance sheet liabilities of a similar magnitude? And who is really left to “rescue” them?

…with the exception of the Fed (and maybe some tech companies that have zero debt and tens of billions of cash on hand)…?