Monday, September 15, 2008
In case you haven't been paying attention, here's what's happening. Lehman Brothers, one of the largest and oldest US investment banks, is going bust, barring an unlikely last-minute government bailout. Merrill Lynch, for years one of the titans of Wall Street, hocked itself in a firesale to a rival, Bank of America. And AIG, one of the world's largest insurance firms, is begging for a $40bn emergency loan from the US government to stave off its own destruction. In the words of the Wall Street Journal: "The American financial system was shaken to its core".