Panic on the Street

I knew it!

Anatomy of the Morgan Stanley Panic –

Two days after Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. sought bankruptcy protection, an explosive rumor spread that another big Wall Street firm, Morgan Stanley, was on the brink of failure. The chatter on trading desks that Sept. 17 was that Deutsche Bank AG had yanked a $25 billion credit line to the firm.

That wasn’t true, but it helped trigger a cascade of bearish bets against Morgan Stanley. Chief Executive Officer John Mack complained bitterly that profit-hungry traders were sowing panic. Yet he lacked a critical piece of information: Who exactly was behind those damaging trades?

I’ll tell you who. Art O’Connor, that’s who! Well, not really … but I think he should share some of the profits from his short positions.

Oh sure, I could blame Merrill and Goldman and UBS and all the other major firms on the street for helping to drive down the value of my stock and retirement plan, but I prefer to blame Art.

And why? Because he’s tall, has a good-lookin’ fiancée, and can ride a bike pretty damned fast. Oh, and because he’s local and a friend … and if you can’t blame your friends for bad shit that happens nationally and internationally, who else can you blame???


  1. There is an old saying in the markets “the trend is your friend” all i do is follow the trend. Besides i am not sure anyone out there is following my trades saying “Damn, O’Connor just shorted 100 shares of GS. We are doomed!”

    If it makes you feel better I will buy you a Stella.

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