Tuesday, November 11, 2008

When The Bad News Never Seems to End.

That's the headline of today's "Morning Brief" from the WSJ and it certainly captures the mood of the moment. Here are the first two paragraphs:

It was a day when even the monolithic U.S. government might be forgiven a sense of being overwhelmed by the current financial and economic situation.

The mortgage giant Fannie Mae and sprawling insurer AIG reported massive quarterly losses, their first since the government essentially seized control of their operations as part of a skein of interventions aimed at stabilizing credit and other financial markets. Fannie's $29 billion loss came with a warning that "the mission it was given by the government, to help revive the mortgage market, could be compromised unless the Treasury Department takes new steps to support the company," as the Washington Post reports. But sources familiar with discussions between Fannie and the Treasury Department tell the Post that Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has demurred. American International Group reported a $24.5 billion quarterly loss, even as the government offered more help, including extension of a new, $152 billion loan on easier terms than AIG's previous deal.