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The End of Wall Street as We Know It

Gotham Gazette – The turbulent financial market events of recent days demonstrably signal the end of Wall Street as we know it. More uncertainty lies ahead, on Wall Street but also for the national economy. How is this affecting New York and what will it take to get the economy moving again?

Six months ago, a "disastrous foray into financial wizardry" by banks and lenders led us to the sight of the Federal Reserve giving J.P. Morgan Chase $28 billion to take over Bear Stearns. It was thought that this unprecedented action might calm the panic triggered by the sub-prime lending fiasco.

The bursting of the housing bubble destroyed billions of dollars of equity people held in their homes and started to jeopardize millions of mortgages across the country, prime as well as sub-prime. This mortgage meltdown led the U.S. Treasury Department earlier this month to take over the two quasi-public mortgage giants- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which together hold nearly half of the $12 trillion in outstanding mortgage debt in the U.S.

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