Accustomed as we are to huge moves in the right direction before big announcements like those before the French bank inside trading activity, where there were two huge 25 point declines on Thursday and Friday, then a big decline in Japan before the official report of selling began, we should take into consideration how many people must be involved in such deals as the Fed's taking over AIG. Barclays for example said that they had 15 board meetings themselves about Lehman, and think of the executives that must be contacted to be CEO of the new company, the signoffs from the government officials, the lawyers who must perfect the agreement, the officials in all capacities, the press who are alerted to pending announcments and stories, the other potential buyers who must be given one last shot, the two rival candidates and officials to make sure they don't put foot in mouth or give blessing. The requests for aid from various parties that must be negotiated in the light of other shoes to drop. It's mind boggling. But the big difference is that in the past all these machinations and squalls served the purpose of relieving the weak from their positions so that the strong infrastructure could buy and pay for and support their overplus. But now there are no likely big buyers who have much money to profit from this weakness, as apparently one of the chief criticisms of the squash-playing, fist-fighting executive of the failed firm was that he bought his own stock on the way down. The dynamics have changed, and the 50 and 60 point ranges that we are seeing should not be meted against the usual.


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