The destruction that Lehman wrought

Empires came crumbling down, blood flowed on the trading floors and the real economy quickly headed for the Great Depression mark II. The collapse of Lehman Brothers led to a true Black Week, as predicted by numerous self-serving bankers.

Only it didn't.

The Dow fell from 11260 four days ago to 11060 yesterday - that's 200 points, or 1.8%. When future dictionaries define 'disaster', they will not be displaying this picture by means of example:

(Source: Yahoo finance)

Now, the worse is not necessarily over, and markets might yet crash as a direct result of this week's events. There is still a not-so-reassuringly-low probability this blogger will have to eat his words in the not so distant future. But so far it looks like Lehman's demise caused no more than a shrug.

It really is impressive how quickly the lessons of Bear Stearns were not only understood but also put to action by the bankers (be sinister and wait long enough, and the Treasury will give you a bank for free.) Yet, it is even more impressive how the government put an end to the emerging orthodoxy.

A proud week for everyone fighting on the taxpayer's side. Public officials, I salute you!


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