Sunday, March 16, 2008

Latest on the Financial Markets- Armageddon Interrupted

JPMorgan Chase Buys Bear Stearns for $240 Million
JPMorgan Chase & Co. agreed to buy Bear Stearns Cos. for about $240 million, less than a 10th of its value last week, after a run on the company ended 85 years of independence for Wall Street's fifth-largest securities firm.

Shareholders of New York-based Bear Stearns will get stock in JPMorgan equivalent to about $2 a share, compared with $30 at the close on March 14, the two companies said in a statement today. The U.S. Federal Reserve will provide financing for the transaction, including support for as much as $30 billion of Bear Stearns's ``less-liquid assets.'' ...

Bear Stearns, founded in 1923, survived the Great Depression and first sold shares to the public in 1985. Schwartz, an executive with more than 30 years of experience at Bear Stearns, was the hand-picked choice of his predecessor, James ``Jimmy'' Cayne, 74, who remains non-executive chairman of the firm.

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