More Trouble In America As Morgan, Goldman Plunge Most Ever

Despite the so-called bailout of AIG by the Fed, US stocks plunged Wednesday with Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs leading the way, and AIG themselves hot on their heels.

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index lost 4.7 percent, extending its decline from an October record to 26 percent and erasing half its gain from the five-year bull market that began in 2002.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley, the only remaining independent brokerages on Wall Street, plunged their most ever. Morgan Stanley slid $6.95, or a record 24 percent, to a 10- year low of $21.75. Goldman tumbled $18.51, or 14 percent, to $114.50, its steepest drop ever and lowest price in almost three years.

AIG, the largest U.S. insurer by assets, lost $1.70, or 45 percent, to $2.05 and extended its decline over the past year to 97 percent, after the government said it will receive a 79.9 percent stake in return for an $85 billion loan that analysts said will be repaid by liquidating the company.

About $3.6 trillion of market value has been erased from global stocks this week, triggered by the largest-ever bankruptcy filing by Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., once the fourth-largest U.S. securities firm. Russia halted stock trading for a second day and poured $44 billion into its three biggest banks in a bid to halt the worst financial crisis in a decade.