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This morning brought news of a refinement of the JPMorgan/Bear Stearns deal. Evidently, Bear Stearns stockholders aren’t happy about the $2/share deal, and want something better. Wouldn’t we all.

What will be interesting is whether the Fed accepts the deal or not. I favored the original deal, but the new deal appears to put a fairer price on the stock, which was trading pre-market at about $9.15.

The Feds don’t want this to appear to be a stockholder bailout. I don’t think $10/share will make that appearance (at less than 1/3 the price of the stock prior to the original deal announcement). However, if a fair price is doable by JPMorgan, one has to wonder if the Fed needs to provide further guarantees to support the deal. I remain convinced the market should be able to handle itself and discipline itself without the Fed committing taxpayer dollars to prop up failing businesses.

A nice outcome would be the deal goes through and the Fed backs out. We can only hope.

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