Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A year of heavy losses

(NYT) A year ago, financial companies were flying high. But as problems in the mortgage and credit markets have grown, the stocks of many Wall Street firms have been hard hit. Some of the biggest companies have been bought out, taken over by the government or gone bankrupt. [Here is a NYTimes graphic illustrating the decrease in market capitalization of financial firms. In 2007 they were 20% of the total stock market capitalization of $20 trillion dollars. By today they comprise about 17% of a $15 trillion market. (In other words, financials as a group are down about 15% relative to the market as a whole.) Mouse over a particular company and you can see how much its shares have lost over the last year.]

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