Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack is so on edge right now, you have no idea. Shares plummeted nearly 26 percent, the lowest closing price in a decade, after the shorts swept in the last hour of trading. Moody’s Investors Service said it was putting Morgan Stanley’s credit rating on review. Then today all hell broke loose, and stock dropped 40 percent from yesterday’s close, to $7.57 at last look, putting the total market cap at $8.4 billion, which, as Clusterstock points out, is under the $9 billion Mitsubishi promised to give them for only 20 percent of the company. Why, God, why? an anguished cry inside Mack’s brain startles him. Why did this happen! Of course he knows it’s the rumors. The rumor-a-minute fearmongering marketplace. How many times did he and Mitsubishi say the deal is going to go through? How many times? But really, it’s the Federal Reserve’s fault, for saying the deal could not officially close until Monday. Monday is Columbus Day, geniuses! Also, in Japan it is National Health Day, whatever the fuck that is — Mack is going to have a coronary just thinking about it. He already has angina from the spicy-tuna roll he ate last night with the guys from Mitsubishi. His fingernails are bitten down so far that his fingers are bloody stumps. There is only one thing bringing him joy right now.
The silver lining on the cloud is that he knows that someone is looking after him. An army of commenters, like a band of guardian angels, have risen up to wage battle against Websites that have reported on such rumors. Who knew he had so many friends?
Like Ed, who wrote the following on the Journal’s Marketbeat blog:
What about the comments from the Fox-Pitt analyst, which said that MS is under pressure for “no fundamental reason” and has “sound” liquidity and balance sheet? What about the Moody’s comments that MS has a good liquidity profile, has been outperforming peers who have posted big losses, and has significantly de-risked its balance sheet? Is that not worth printing because it doesn’t make for a good story? Your fear-mongering is helping to drive companies out of business and people out of their jobs.
Good man, Ed. And the gent called BogusRumors, who defended him on DealBook:
“Clearly the rumors about this deal imploding is calculated fear mongering as both Morgan and Mitsubishi have verified it will not. The only delay in this merger is the simple fact that federal law prohibits it from happening until Monday. In the time between then and now the rumor mongers are doing everything they can to make it not happen.”
And Gangstar, on Portfolio:
Unbelievable they let you post it on the website! Please, do us all a favor! Stop writing and educate yourself! The market is flooded with rumors and guys like you are making it worse… Morgan Stanley is in a good financial position, their balance sheet is in a good shape and has no liquidity issues… So, step back and let professionals do their job!.
Mack clicks refresh. Perhaps, he thinks, when it all ends, he will reach out to Gangstar, take him for a beer.