Bank of America is also reporting early Sunday evening that it is in talks to purchase Merrill Lynch (NYSE: MER). The company founded in 1914 by Charles E. Merrill occupies all 34 floors of Four World Financial Center in Manhattan. In November of last year, Merrill Lynch announced the write-down of $8.4 billion in loss connected to the American mortgage crisis, and removed Stan O'Neal as CEO.
The bursting housing bubble may not be confined just to the United States: The Australian online reported Monday, September 15, 2008 that "[h]ome building starts have plummeted to their lowest number in a year"....in Australia. "Just 38,348 homes were started in the three months to June, a seasonally-adjusted drop of 3.7 per cent on the March quarter, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said." Shares headed downward on the Sydney All Ordinaries at the opening of trading on Monday.
The financial titans Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. and Morgan Stanley are expected to announce declines in quarterly profits this week according to another news item by the AP.
In an unbelievable deluge of breaking financial news on Sunday evening, other developments, such as the forecast for savings-and-loan giant Washington Mutual remained clouded.
Financial experts expressed further concern on Sunday evening that some traders might take advantage of a "climate of fear" to engage in short selling in an effort to take over other large, vulnerable firms according to a report by Louise Story of the NYT. Sources noted that some executives pleaded with Paulson, Geithner, and Cox to restore restrictive rules on short selling to minimize hostile overtures when markets resume trading on Monday morning.
REUTERS was reporting just before 8 PM ET that a group of American and foreign bankers were in discussions to create an international fund of as much as $50 billion to shore up the global financial system in light of the troubling economic indicators coming out of the United States. US government officials also were said to be amenable to widening the Federal Reserve's discount lending window to forestall, at least temporarily, further systemic failures.