the greatest depression

It Was the Worst of Days, It Was the Best of Days


Wow, a lot of things happened today, huh? Our itty bitty Wall Street problem spread all over Europe, the stock market tanked, Jim Cramer freaked out even more than usual on the Today show, and Richard Fuld testified in front of Congress about his nightmares. But in keeping with our theme of this being the Greatest Depression, we’re going to look at today’s end-of-day headlines with a “glass half full” mentality, as Erin Burnett would say.

• The man above had his photo splashed on the Times homepage almost all day. Now, in addition to being sad at losing a lot of money, he must be embarrassed, not least because he was wearing that weird shirt with the net on it on this of all days. But at least he now has a shot at becoming microfamous!

• The Dow finished more than 360 points lower, dropping below the 10,000 mark for the first time in five years. But that’s cool, because five years ago things weren’t actually that bad, as we recall?

• President Bush visited an old-fashioned soda shop, which means at least he isn’t working too hard in the last leg of his presidency.

• Bank of America, which was super-pleased with itself just like three weeks ago after it ate Merrill Lynch, announced crap earnings and announced it needed to raise $10 billion in stock to raise capital. Yes, this is a little scary, but at least we can take solace in the fact that that kid from Merrill will probably end up somewhere even worse now.

• Citigroup and Wells Fargo have called a ceasefire in their battle over Wachovia, and say they will probably reach an agreement before it terminates tomorrow at high noon. Actually just noon, but saying “high noon” is fun!

• Vicky Ward from Vanity Fair confirmed that Richard Fuld was punched out at the gym on CNBC: “From two very senior sources — one incredibly senior source — that he went to the gym after … Lehman was announced as going under. He was on a treadmill with a heart monitor on. Someone was in the corner, pumping iron and he walked over and he knocked him out cold. And frankly, after having watched this, I’d have done the same too.” This is just awesome.

It Was the Worst of Days, It Was the Best of Days