It was at once a shocking and spectacular sight. They leapt from the pie in the sky, the upper echelon, the dizziest heights on the stock market, like it was 1929. All ten of them, lords of capitalism for a time—Bear Stearns, Countrywide, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers, AIG, WAMU, Wachovia, Tribune. Some leapt gracefully, others not so. Some were caught on the way down in the arms of other, more solid players of the same game. Some landed in critical condition under bankruptcy protection. The entire performance exemplified a supreme pas de deux between opportunity and greed. The audience applauded, until they realized it was real.
PHOTO: the Chicago Tribune building night shot snagged from http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e7/383_Madison_Ave_Bear_Stearns_C_R_Flickr_1.jpg/450px-383_Madison_Ave_Bear_Stearns_C_R_Flickr_1.jpg