Monday, September 22, 2008

Wall Street yard sale falls short of $700 billion goal

NEW YORK - A weekend yard sale held by Wall Street to stave off the need for a government bailout plan has not reached its goal of $700 billion.

A modest crowd of bargain hunters swarmed the impromptu street market at about 6 AM Saturday, snatching up designer clothes, appliances, brokerages and investment firms. Once the wares had been picked over, sellers resorted to letting entire tables go at steep discounts.

"I got an, uh... I think it's a wealth management firm for, like, three million bucks," said one early bird. The firm once had a market capitalization over $16 billion.

Despite raising almost $13 billion in cash, planners are calling the sale a disappointment. Several participants blamed the event's failure on the exclusive use of flyers.

"No question it's a bust," said yard sale organizer Gordon Caler. "In hindsight, we should have posted something on Looks like we'll have to go ahead with the taxpayer bailout."

The proceeds of the sale will instead be divvied up among former CEOs of various failed institutions. Caler will take away a 2.5% commission, amounting to $325 million.
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