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The Morning News

"Market crash shakes world" is how the headline on this morning's FT read. Tokyo fell 24.3% this week; Frankfurt, 21.6%; London, 21.1%; New York by only 18%. And Russia: 21.12%; India, 19.3%; Shanghai, 12.78%

The fall in value over the last few months in America is nothing less than staggering: 9 trillion dollars in industrials; 5 million dollars in real estate, the equivalent of one year of gross national product.

Another index: Also according to the FT: "Middle East jubilant over Wall St. woes." The Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, identified as "an influential hardline figure in Iran," described the crisis as punishment: "the results of their vicious acts and God is punishing them."

Oil futures in the U.S. were down yesterday $8 to $78.61 a barrel, the lowest price in a full year. This is good news. And the lower the price goes the less the Middle eastern oil producers--which is all that they are--will be able to foment troubles.  There is a margin of mischief that Iran has, and Russia, too. At a certain point, Tehran will not be able to control its people.

And it might not be capable of continuing its production of nuclear weapons? Well, maybe I'm wrong. North Korea starved its people and locked them up as state policy. And still it produced a nuclear military capacity. It agreed to disarm. But it hasn't.  And I believe it won't. Instead, it will sell its grave mischief to others.

"GM has 'no plans' for bankruptcy protection."  So reports the FT.  Nobody else had such plans either: Bear Stearns, Lehman, Iceland.

The bell tolls for you, London. "Is London's crown slipping?"  Are London's bridges falling down? The FT has another article on its op-ed page this weekend that bears reading. It's up about the decline of the City leading to the decline of the city. Are there alternatives? Frederick Studemann suggests Geneva might be one. But what do you do there after you buy a watch? And that assumes you have enough cash (or credit) to buy one.