If you haven’t heard by now, you’re gonna hear a lot about it soon…Bear Stearns, the venerable, aggressive I-bank lately rocked worse than many of its money-grubbing breathren by the subprime securities implosion, is being sold to JPMorgan Chase for $2 a share. It closed on Friday at $30, with a market capitalization of around $3.5 billion. And it’s going to Chase for an incredible $250 million. Two dollars a share for Bear Stearns! Seriously, this disaster involves fuckupery so egregious that it makes the guy who rammed the Titanic into the iceberg look like a pilot on par with Charles Lindbergh.
Bear Stearns, founded 1923. Keep watching the building, you should start seeing the greedy imbeciles who sank the company taking swan dives pretty soon.
There has been, and will continue to be, thousands of words written dedicated to a post-mortem examination of Bear Stearns and the subprime meltdown in general. I urge you to read them, but if you don’t feel like it, here’s all you really need to take away from all this:
If you are going to buy up a bunch of mortgages in billion-dollar bundles for the expressed purpose of getting a fat return on that investment, and you are going to buy so many of those mortgages that the very solvency of your company will come to lean on their performance, and that performance is wholly predicated on the very performance of those mortgages – by which I mean, very simply, are the individuals living in houses they got with these mortgages writing their check to the bank (and ultimately you) on time – then god dammit, MAYBE YOU WHARTON SCHOOL DIPSHITS OUGHT TO MAKE SURE THE MORTGAGES YOU’RE BUYING WERE UNDERWRITTEN THE RIGHT WAY AND THE BORROWERS CAN PAY.