Despite a brief foray into the financial world some years ago, my knowledge of world markets is basically non-existant (a fact which goes a long way in explaining why I'm no longer foraying in said world). Notwithstanding this utter lack of knowledge, I would be remiss if I didn't comment on the current state of the U.S. economy.
I have been saying for quite some time now that the reign of George W. Bush will go down as the presidential equivalent of Rob Babcock's tenure as G.M. of the Toronto Raptors. Rob Babcoak had Rafael Araujo with the 8th pick, Rafer Alston on a 5-year deal, Joey Graham over Danny Granger, and the Vince Carter for Alonzo Mourning's $10 million buyout trade. Bush had 9/11, Hurrican Katrina, and the search for non-existent weapons-of-mass-destruction that would prove to be a thinly veiled excuse to engage in a war that could never be won, the end result being the inevitable and eventual collapse of what had once been the world's strongest economy.
Although on vastly different scales, the two regimes can be viewed as little beyond complete catastrophes, and the two architects will almost certainly go down in history as the worst at their respective professions.
I'm still waiting for resident economist Mike Foley to weigh in with his take on the past 72 hours, but in the meantime, here are some words from minds immensely more informed than yours truly:
From The NY Times (Monday, Sept. 15): Lehman Files for Bankruptcy; Merrill is Sold
From The Globe and Mail (Tuesday, Sept. 16): A New World on Wall Street
From The Scotsman (Tuesday, Sept. 16): How the Masters of the Universe Ran Amok and Cost Us the Earth
From Dealbreaker (Wednesday, Sept. 17): I Need A Moment to Vent
(Thanks to Flats for the links)