Originally published by Democracy Now!, September 16, 2008.

Stock Markets Plummet as Lehman Brothers & Merrill Lynch Collapse

Stock prices are continuing to fall sharply across the globe today following the collapse of Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch, two of the world’s largest investment banks. On Monday, the Dow Jones index fell 504 points. It was the Dow’s sixth-largest point drop ever. The shakeup on Wall Street has seen the 158-year-old investment bank Lehman Brothers declare bankruptcy and the 94-year-old Merrill Lynch being bought by Bank of America in a $44 billion deal. Forbes magazine said the United States is now facing perhaps the worst financial crisis since the banking panic that former President Franklin Roosevelt faced in 1933.

Future Remains Uncertain for Washington Mutual and AIG

Fears are growing that the nation’s largest savings and loan, Washington Mutual, and the nation’s largest insurance company, American International Group, could also go under. On Monday, Washington Mutual had its credit rating cut to junk by Standard and Poor’s. The bank’s stock value has dropped 94 percent over the past year. And the Wall Street Journal reports the Federal Reserve has asked Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase to help make up to $75 billion in loans available to AIG. Stock in AIG plummeted 61 percent on Monday.