A Photo Haiku: Wall Street Battered, Bailouts Fail and CEOs Get Rich

A Photo Haiku: Wall Street Battered as Industry Bailouts Fail

Wall Street Has Greatest Decline Since the Great Depression

Yesterday, The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Wall Street Journal all led with front page stories about yet another horrible day for stocks that sent one clear message: Investors are freaked out. Another grim milestone was reached yesterday as the broad Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index plunged 6.7 percent and reached its lowest level since 1997. The Congressional bailouts have failed miserably.

The S&P 500 is down 52 percent from its high reached a little more than a year ago, which marks the “sharpest decline since the Great Depression,” noted the LAT. The WSJ pointed out that if the index were to finish the year with yesterday’s numbers, it would mark “the worst annual percentage drop in its 80-year history.” And today’s not looking any better!!

While America’s Corporate CEOs Laugh All the Way to the Bank

Now in Japan, the CEOs of failed and bankrupt banks and corporations take shame very seriously. When Japanese CEOs make mistakes, they’re expected to make a big show of tearily flogging themselves in public (figuratively). But what’s going on here in America? American corporate CEOs get to screw up as bad as they want and walk away with millions, with nary a tear nor even a nice tip to the bellhop on the way out the door. They problem is that in this country, CEOs are only too happy to trade the scorn of the public for a pile of money. We can bitch all we want about golden parachutes that can top $100 million for executives who didn’t do shit except lose shareholder money the entire time they were employed, but that CEO will chuckle to himself, have his flack issue a statement, and then go enjoy his millions and millions of free dollars on a private island somewhere, full of untold numbers of prostitutes.

What the F**k: It’s Just a Recession!

We Should Send These Greedy CEOs for Some Frontier Psychatry :

The Avalanches: Frontier Psychiatry

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Wakes: September Was a Bad Month

Wakes: September Was a Bad Month

September was already a dark month for New Yorkers. It started out with observances for the seventh anniversary of 9/11. Then the stock market went and crashed. This documentary short-film focuses on the memorials at the World Trade Center and at Wall Street.

Wakes: September Was a Bad Month

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Stock Market Plunges: Hard Times for the Rich, Poor and Homeless

Stock Market Plunges: Hard Times for the Rich, Poor and Homeless

The Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index was down nearly 7.6 percent yesterday and the Dow Jones industrial average was down 678.91 points, both posting one of their worst days in post-war history. In addition, new data released on Thursday showed that retail investors were withdrawing tens of billions of dollars from stock mutual funds, a sign that the panic on Wall Street is spreading. This stupendous stock market crash should serve as a stark reminder to us that ultimately, no one is much different from people who are either very poor or homeless.

Stock Market Plunges: Hard Times for the Rich, Poor and Homeless

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Hunger: Cravings of the Weary Forsaken

Music: Mavis Staples/Hard Times

Hunger: Cravings of the Weary Forsaken

The filmmaker, Samuel Christopher, is actually a duo consisting of Chris Turner and Sam Tootal. Their short film examines poet Billy Collins’ enigmatic poem “Hunger” by posting the poem’s lines up against a silent urban landscape like hyper-literary graffiti. Christopher interprets Collins’ textual riddle with his own visual rendering of the poem, a forsaken and depopulated cityscape’s lonely craving. In particular, the “fox” that was lugged over your shoulder is anything that you thought was “in the bag”, or “success.” When it escapes, you might mistakenly think you’re stronger, instead of realizing that you’ve lost whatever it was that you thought was safe and secure. Your “cottage” in a forest that “covers the world” refers to the fact that no matter how great your house, it is a very lonely place on a very big planet, and no matter in what esteem you may hold it, or yourself, ultimately you’re very insignificant. In the end, no one is much different from the people who are poor or are homeless.

Hunger

The fox you lug over your shoulder
in a dark sack
has cut a hole with a knife
and escaped.
The sudden lightness makes you think
you are stronger
as you walk back to your small cottage
through a forest that covers the world.

Billy Collins

Hunger: Cravings of the Weary Forsaken

Short Film by Samuel Christopher

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Hard Times: Take Your Money and Run

Hard Times: Take Your Money and Run

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Wall Street Calamity: Stocks Crushed in Financial Freefall

Wall Street Calamity: Stocks Crushed in Financial Freefall

Stocks are Crushed in Financial Freefall

Stocks crushed,” is how CNN Money, employing all the descriptive restraint that it could, sees this morning’s disastrous economic landscape. The Dow Jones Industrial Index’ record 777.68 points (7%) drop yesterday was “the biggest one-day point drop in [its] 102-year history,” writes the Wall Street Journal. Washington “lawmakers groping for a resolution…..as they attempt to avoid economic calamity,” writes the New York Times, with all the urgency that two-thirds of the House Republicans and some 40% of the Democrats failed to muster yesterday.

At the same time, the banking industry continues what the Wall Street Journal is calling “a decade’s worth of consolidation in a matter of weeks.” Yesterday it was Citigroup’s turn to swoop in on some distressed financial institution, with its government-brokered takeover of Wachovia’s banking operations for $2.2 billion in an all-stock deal. Wachovia, the nation’s fourth-largest bank, wasn’t on the point of collapse but the government intervention based on its deteriorating condition – and the threat that posed to the teetering U.S. financial system – hammers home how “quickly once-mighty U.S. banks are succumbing to a growing mountain of bad mortgages and other loans,” says the Wall Street Journal.

Clearly, then, the headline from the world of politics and economics for today seems fairly self-evident: in the wake of the House of Representative’s failure to pass a bailout package for Wall Street, the Dow dropped by the largest point margin in any single day in history.

But as Sam Stein points out in The Huffington Post, that number told only half the story. Indeed, much of what transpired on Wall Street and in the halls of politics put a bookend on what now seems to the final – poor – chapter of the Bush administration’s economic record. On Monday, the Dow finished lower than when George W. Bush assumed the presidency: 10,587.59 on January 19, 2001 compared to 10,365.45 at its close on September 29, 2008.

The Stock Exchange Crash of 1929 and The Great Depression

Remembering the Stock Market Crash of 1929

The Great Depression: Hard Times

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