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Quote of the Day
“We’re F*cked…It’s going to be a calamity”
-Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner, Sunday night before the announcement of Lehman Bankruptcy, which occurred on this day in 2008. As told in his memoir, Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises
September 15th – This Day in Stock Market History
September 15th, 2008 – Lehman Brothers files for bankruptcy protection, Merrill Lynch is sold, and AIG gets their credit rating downgraded.
The day would be one of the most memorable days of the 2008-2009 financial crisis:
On this day, the financial crisis would take down one of Wall Street’s most storied firms. Lehman Brothers had survived for more than 150 years on Wall Street, but the 2008 crisis was too much. The bank had become over leveraged and clients were rapidly pulling out assets from the firm in the panic.
The government’s handling of Lehman’s failure would be harshly criticized, and led to more uncertainty within the markets. If a firm like Lehman failed…who was next?
The general stock markets were down about 30% from their highs before the news broke. The day would be the worst day for the stock market since September 17th, 2001, the day trading resumed after the 9/11 attacks. The Dow would close the day down 4.4%.
It would be a day of record volume on the New York Stock Exchange with 8.2 billion shares traded.
Lehman Brothers would start the day trading at $3.65 and close at $0.19 a share, down 95%.
AIG shares would start trading the day at $12.14 and close at $5 a share, down 60%. (AIG would be bailed out the next day)
Wachovia shares started the day at $14.27 and would close at $10.90, down 23%.
Bank of America started the day at $33.74 and would close the day at $26.90, down 20%
But of course, the worst of the financial crisis was still to unfold. Wachovia, Washington Mutual and many more firms were still yet to fail.
The general stock market would fall another 40%+ before the lows in March 2009.
Here is a replay of CNBC’s coverage after the market close:
Best September 15th in Dow Jones Industrial Average History
1932 – Up 3.13%, 2.06 points.
Worst September 15th in Dow Jones Industrial Average History
2008 – Down 4.42%, 504.48 points.
Read of the Day
In addition to Geithner’s memoir, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke also has published his reflections of the 2008-2009 financial crisis in his book The Courage to Act: A Memoir of a Crisis and Its Aftermath
Bernanke also blogs on the Brookings institution’s website, here: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/ben-bernanke/
Go To Next Day: September 16th, 1920 – J.P Morgan Bank is bombed, 40 people were killed. –>