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The View from Wall Street
The news ticker on Times Square shows a loss of 778 points on the Dow Jones industrials. (AP)

The news ticker on Times Square shows a loss of 778 points on the Dow Jones industrials. (AP)

Washington’s message to Wall Street yesterday: drop dead.

And Wall Street nearly did. A 777-point loss on the Dow. The biggest one-day point drop in history.

It might have felt good to smack Wall Street one, after the meltdown of the last ten days. Problem is, they are us, too. Pension funds, savings, dreams.

And yet, they’re different. Huge pay packages, golden bonuses, yachts and mansions. Risk that we bear.

This hour, On Point: Fear, panic, and the view from Wall Street now. Plus, we’ll hear from novelist Tom Wolfe, who first unveiled Wall Street’s “masters of the universe.”

You can join the conversation. What next? What now? And what’s your message to Wall Street?

Guests:

Joining us from Washington is Greg Ip, U.S. economics editor for The Economist. He’s been reporting from Capitol Hill on the Congressional negotiations over the bailout.

With us from New York is Jesse Eisinger, senior writer for Portfolio magazine. He covers finance and Wall Street.

Also from New York, we’re joined by David Beim, a professor of finance and economics at Columbia Business School and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He worked for 25 years in investment banking, and currently serves as a director of a cluster of mutual funds managed by Merrill Lynch.

And with us from New York is Tom Wolfe, novelist and social chronicler, author of “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test” (1968), “The Right Stuff” (1979), and many other books. His 1987 novel “The Bonfire of the Vanities” brought us the phrase “masters of the universe” to describe Wall Street’s high-rolling hotshots. He’s watching the current meltdown.  His forthcoming novel, about immigration in Miami, is “Back to Blood.”

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