Sep 15, 2008

The Ides of September

Fall Leaves Floating in River

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If you read my last post, you may have noticed that I've had a very ominous feeling the last few days. Over the weekend I was heavily involved in family commitments and a lot of travel, which kept me somewhat distracted. But periodically yesterday, I had the sense that something very bad was happening. I wondered several times if there was a spike in violence in one of the many active war zones, or perhaps a natural disaster. It was just these flashes of things that felt like mini explosions.

My questions were answered, at least to some degree, when I learned, last night, that Lehman Brothers was declaring bankruptcy, Merrill Lynch was being sold to Bank of America, and American International Group was scrambling for cash.

The only question when I went to bed last night was just how serious the stock market drop would be. Pretty bad.

The pullback, which erased about $700 billion in shareholder wealth, occurred across much of the globe as investors absorbed Lehman's bankruptcy filing and what was essentially a forced sale of Merrill Lynch to Bank of America for $50 billion in stock. While those companies' situations had reached some resolution, the market remained anxious about American International Group Inc., which is seeking funding to shore up its balance sheet. A faltering of the world's largest insurance company likely would have implications far beyond that of Lehman, already the largest U.S. bankruptcy in terms of assets.

. . .

For the first part of Monday's trading, the market was falling, but in a largely orderly fashion as investors seemed to draw some relief from the resolution of Lehman's problems. As the session wore on, and there was no word about AIG, the market suffered another bout of fear that the credit crisis will continue to devastate the financial sector ...

I checked the numbers around 10:00 am to see where we were. (Note the numbers on the Dow.)

The next few times I checked, they retreated off those lows. Some time later, it went into a free-fall.

... Selling accelerated in the final hour and then took on more momentum as stock indexes broke through lows set in July _ an ominous sign for some traders.

Monday's trading followed the pattern of the past year; there were some signs of optimism, but they were dashed when investors weary of bad news perceived there was more ahead.

Ouch. No one -- not even that cheerleader Alan Greenspan -- seems optimistic about hitting bottom and stabilizing for a while. I think the horror of this may exceed even the worst expectations of economists and financial wizards.

A while ago Karen Bishop wrote about how the US was starting a massive fall.

Here in the US, this is occurring in a dramatic way indeed. Our country is beginning its final fall…and it will occur very rapidly now. The rug has been pulled out from under it, and it has nothing much to hold onto anymore. The super power that it thought it was, is now needing to tap into and become what true power really is. The old false power must now depart. There is nothing left to support it. But this is the natural and rightful process of ascension and evolution.

. . .

This was difficult information for me to bring forth. I checked and re-checked it. I am not normally a gloom and doom reporter. I sat on this information for quite awhile, so as to make sure. I even went so far as to stay in a better feeling space, so I would not have to acknowledge the impact. But eventually I had a visit from by ever trusted guide, who imparted this news once again. So there it was, not to be ignored.

The far majority of the time,[sic] when the energies are aligned for dramatic changes, a difficult scenario is most always averted. Choices are made by all, and things seem to commonly end up with a much softer outcome. But with the advent of this latest phase of evolutionary growth, a much more dramatic and severe outcome is on the horizon. It is time for forward movement, and this seems to be the course it will take.

Fasten your seatbelts, folks. It' going to be... Well, you know the rest.

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