Stocks Fall Sharply On Lehman, Merrill Lynch News

U.S. stock prices are down sharply as investors digest the news of another major financial collapse on Wall Street. This weekend, the government decided not to help rescue Lehman Brothers, as it did Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. As a result, it has filed for bankruptcy. Also Sunday, Merrill Lynch agreed to sell itself to Bank of America rather than suffer the same fate.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

NPR's business news starts with markets waking up to a new world.

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INSKEEP: Which investors apparently do not like. U.S. stock prices are down sharply today. Investors face the news of another major financial collapse on Wall Street. Over the weekend, the government decided not to help rescue Lehman Brothers. There was no rescue package as there was for Bear Stearns or for Fannie Mae or for Freddie Mac. And as a result, one of the biggest and oldest investment banks on Wall Street has filed for bankruptcy. It is gone, or at least bankrupt, after more than 150 years in business. Also yesterday, another Wall Street firm battered by the financial crisis threw in the towel rather than suffer the same fate. We are told that Merrill Lynch is going to sell itself to Bank of America.

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