How Did We Fall So Far, So Fast?


One week ago Friday, at 1:22 pm the House of Representatives passed a controversial $700 billion rescue of Wall Street. The Dow had been up as much as 300 points on optimism that we had turned the corner.

But by the close the Dow had given back all its gains and then some.

While major averages would only close down less than 2% that day, the message sent by traders who fled the market that day was loud and clear. ”The country is heading for a financial meltdown the likes of which Wall Street has never seen and it’s too late for the government to do anything about it.”

Then, a series of rapid fire events rattled the markets like never before. In fact events happened so quickly we thought you'd appreciate a look back at the timeline.

Monday October 6th

Fed Reserve chief Ben Bernanke doubled the cash made available to banks for emergency loans to a whopping $900 billion. Still, the Dow plunged 365 points and closed below 10,000 for the first time since 2004.

Tuesday October 7th

Ben Bernanke, a scholar and authority on the Great Depression, began dropping money from helicopters—if not literally then figuratively. He announced the unprecedented action of lending directly to non-financial companies through the commercial paper market. And on the news major indexes dropped more than 5% to their lowest levels in 5 years.

Wednesday. October 8th

The whole globe responded. In a coordinated move, central banks around the world including the U.S, Britain and China cut their benchmark interest rates. At first it looked as if the historic move would stabilize world markets. But in the final hour of trading the Dow dropped nearly 200 points.

Thursday October 9th

Reports began to swirl that the Treasury might buy stakes in America's banks but the Street questioned whether that’s too little too late after shares of General Motors lost a third of their value in one day. Only 48 hours after closing below 10,000, the Dow plunged below 9,000 on fear that the crisis had spread well beyond the financial sector.

Friday October 10th

Investors anxiously wait for a response from global financial leaders gathered in Washington after we learned that America's banking system is not built solely on money but bonded by trust. And until this trust is restored this awful week on Wall Street may get worse.

The Way Forward

Of course there’s a way out of this miss. The Fast Money traders have some ideas and they follow.

1. Suspend actions of the ratings agencies.
2. Create CDS exchange
3. Determine who needs to step in and buy
4. Close the market?
5. Generate individual circuit breakers
6. Perp walks

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