To be expected, really. We're in a new and uncertain world built on shifting perceptions and confidences, and it seems like the rule book has been tossed out of the window.
Funny thing is, apart from being unnerved by this money market failure, I feel relatively optimistic about the long term prospects. I have certainly felt more optimistic in the past, but I sense what we are seeing here is much needed consolidation as the air whooshes out of the bubble. Banking businesses are either going to go out of business, be bought or merged, and in a year's time the big finance companies on Wall Street will be quite different from what we see today.
Necessary, I feel. The most necessary thing right now is the realistic valuation of all these dreadful mortgage-derived assets, and that's starting to happen by default as Lehman Brothers' bankruptcy in particular flushes out a true market price.
Yes, masses of money is going to be lost, but the house will cleaned. At least, until the next generation of greedy and so-clever-they-are-stupid financiers takes charge again. Hopefully that will be long enough into my retirement that I will not care at that point!