Wall Street Affects All of Us

Many people are reading about the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers and the pending purchase/rescue of Merrill Lynch by Bank of America, and think it doesn’t affect them. They think it’s a bunch of rich Wall Street-types that had it coming.

People also should realize that will companies like Lehman and especially Merrill & Lehman play an important part in our economy. If you have a 401k or pension, Merrill may be the custodian of your funds. AIG (who’s also in deep trouble) reinsures other companies, which means they back other smaller insurance firms. They had to post subsidiaries as collateral to get $20 billion in emergency funds. If this doesn’t work, they’re done. A lot of lower and middle-income people work at these firms also. Assistants, customer services reps, accountants and more work at these firms. This is big, y’all.

Did you know that today’s 500-point drop was the worst since 9/11?

Projected layoff numbers:

Lehman – 20,000
Merrill – thousands of jobs, since Bank of America and Merrill Lynch are everywhere and have a ton of personnel overlap.

These companies have offices all over the United States. In small towns and major cities, these companies matter. A lot of net worth evaporated from the US economy today. Hopefully, tomorrow will be better.

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