Bear Stearns: Government Emails On Takeover

Negotiations to have JP Morgan take over Bear Stearns in March of 2008 produced an avalanche of emails from government officials.

Bear Stearns
Jin Lee
Bear Stearns

Worried that the collapse of Bear would trigger a world wide domino effect, the Federal Reserve and Treasury urged JP Morgan to take over Bear. The Fed went on to approve a $30 billion credit line to JPM to make the deal go through. The deal was formally announced on March 17, 2008.

The emails here are correspondence between Fed and Treasury officials over the weekend of March 14 through the 16, 2008. They are a result of a Freedom of Information request by the group Judicial Watch.

Just click on the links to read.

While there's no "smoking gun," you do get a sense of how the media stories at the time were important to the government officials, as news reports about Bear Stearns and the negotiations were passed along.

There's also the issue of the timing of the deal, as to when it was agreed upon and actually announced.

Some familiar names like Paulson and Geithner appear in the emails, and then President George W. Bush.

It was on March 17th, 2008, JPM agreed to pay $2 a share to buy all of Bear which turned out to be less than one-tenth the firm’s market price two days before. The deal closed on May 30.