Shut Down Those Free Markets

Keep this timely trading halt in mind the next time you hear some moronic economist blathering on about the so-called “free market” and its very important benefits:

Trading was temporarily halted in dozens of regional banks this morning as shares fell by up to 75 percent when the market opened after Joe Biden claimed ‘US banking is safe.’ Major US banks were also hit as contagion fears spread through the sector with Wells Fargo plummeting 7.5 percent, Bank of America falling 7.4 percent, Citigroup plunging 5.8 percent and JP Morgan down 2.7 percent.

Regional bank Western Alliance saw its stock price plunge by three quarters as the opening bell sounded on Wall Street, while shares in First Republic dived 67 percent and PacWest by more than 35 percent. Trading circuit breakers were swiftly implemented to protect the market from rampant volatility.

I doubt this is the final cataclysmic crash, but it is certainly a harbinger of the eventual and inevitable one.