Party Like Its 1929: Understanding the Crisis on Wall Street

It has been a dramatic moment on Wall Street; first Bear-Sterns and then Lehman Bros. went bankrupt. Then insurance giant AIG was ‘rescued’ by the US Treasury and now, $700 billion in bailouts are proposed for the rest of banks that are teetering on the edge of collapse.

As one major US financial concern after another succumbs to the burst of the housing bubble, I have had a hard time understanding the crisis by reading the mainstream press alone. To me, the articles in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal have, at best, conveyed a sense of importance and urgency about these financial failures while pinning hopes for economic recovery on ever-increasing tax-payer generosity.

To try and get a clearer look at what all the drama is about, I had to search elsewhere. Below are some of the best analysis and commentary I found, with the help of friends and comrades. Please post additions in the comments!

And of course, the ongoing coverage in Against the Current:

Comments
  • Anonymous says:

    See also: David McNally’s excellent piece at:
    http://www.socialistproject.ca/bullet/bullet118.html

  • williambanzai7 says:

    PARTY LIKE ITS 1929
    (melody 1999, Prince)
    The artist: WilliamBanzai7

    I was dreamin’ when I wrote this
    Forgive me if it goes astray
    But when I woke up this mornin’
    Coulda sworn it was Wall Street judgment day
    The S&P was purple and the DOW was gray,
    there were traders runnin’ everywhere
    Tryin’ to run from the destruction,
    U know I didn’t even care

    CHORUS
    say say Dow heads down to zero Wall Street party over,
    oops out of time
    So tonight I’m gonna party like it’s 1929

    I was dreamin’ when I wrote this
    So sue me if I go to fast
    But Wall Street is just a party, and parties weren’t meant to last
    Paper losses is all around us, my mind says prepare to fight
    So if I gotta die I’m gonna watch Cramer tonight

    CHORUS
    say say Dow heads down to zero–Wall Street party over,
    oops out of time
    So tonight I’m gonna party like it’s 1929

    intro 2x
    Lemme tell ya somethin’
    If U didn’t come to party,
    don’t bother knockin’ on Paulsons’s bailout door
    It’s burning a hole in his pocket,
    and baby he’s ready to ask for more
    Yeah, everybody’s got an unhedged bomb,
    we could all die any day
    But before I’ll let that happen,
    I’ll dance my investment banking life away

    Oh, they say
    say subprime securitization party over,
    oops out of time
    So tonight I’m gonna party like it’s 1929
    say say DOW heads down to zero party over,
    oops out of time
    So tonight I’m gonna party like it’s 1929

    we gonna, oww

    1929
    Dont ya wanna go 1929
    Dont ya wanna go 1929
    Dont ya wanna go 1929