I woke up yesterday, turn on my television set and I was shocked with the breaking news, “Lehman brothers files bankruptcy” as moves to revive the bank meets a brick wall. I wonder what is happening, since March 2008, the Nigeria stock market has been bearish, as investors continually mourn their losses and it got clear to me that this season is global and the world hit by the sudden down slide of the stock market.
In one of the most dramatic days in Wall Street’s history Merril lyunch agreed to sell itself on Sunday to Bank of America for roughly $50 billion to avert a deepening financial crisis, while another prominent securities firm, Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy protection and hurtled toward liquidation after it failed to find a buyer.
Also AIG, one of the biggest insurance companies in the world, the sponsor of one of the richest club in the United Kingdom Manchester United, is pleading for a loan of $40 billion. America international group is a major America insurance based in New York city, according to 2008 Forbes global 2000 list, AIG was the 18 largest company in the world, but it is so surprising that they would be seeking a loan of $40 billion, On June 15, 2008, under intense pressure due to financial losses and a falling stock price, Martin Sullivan resigned from the CEO position. He was replaced by Robert Willunstad who has served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Company since 2006.
“In 2008, AIG’s share prices fell over 90% to less than $6 in September and the company reported over $13.2 billion in losses in the first six months of that year. As Lehman brothers suffered a major decline in value and share price, potential investors began to compare the type of securities held by AIG to those held by Lehman, and found that AIG had valued their Alt-A and sub-prime mortgage-backed securities at rates 1.7 to 2.0 times those Lehman had used for what Lehman officials called similar securities. On September 14, 2008, AIG announced it was considering selling its aircraft leasing division, International Lease Finance Corporation, in an effort to raise necessary capital for the company”.
It is obvious that the global stock market is dying, and the survival would be something Government, shareholders and companies would help resuscitate. The Nigerian market is not far different from the situation on the outside world, shares continue to see a downward trend and most certainly, investors are struggling hard to pull out, undermining the recent moves by the Government to revive the market, it is still bearish. Most people are discouraged but I can say buying now having a long term in mind would be the smartest move in a good direction.
Let’s hope all these would go away soon.