The remaining two US investment banks are in trouble. Shares in Morgan Stanley fell 21 percent, while Goldman Sachs, the largest remaining independent investment bank declined 13 percent. Ominously, both banks are starting to follow the same ghastly trail of Bear Stearns, Merrill and Lehmans. First, the share price slides and then comes the kill.
It is like watching one of those teen horror movies. The five college kids are out in the wild. With excessive pride and hubris, they have provoked the monster from the deep, who is now coming to wreck her savage revenge. Three victims are already gone, suffering a hideous but ultimately justified demise. Now, only two are left in the cabin. They hear the slow heavy steps and low tortured growl from outside. She is coming, she is getting closer....there is no escape,.....she is coming.
Morgan Stanley seems to have a better understanding of its plight. It is trying to find a buyer. It is pursuing two strategies, a China Investment Corp. buyout and a merger with the troubled retail bank - Wachovia.
The first option is just grotesque. How much further can Wall street sink; running cap in hand to the Communists for bail-out. The second option would simply be a case of two drunken old men holding each other up. Sooner or later, both will crash to the ground.
Goldman seems frozen with fear. It doesn't know what to do. Maybe there isn't anything it can do. The beast has finally smashed down the door and Goldman is staring into the abyss from which there is no return.