The sharp drop in stock prices toward the end of last week coming on the heels of the sell-off of the week before last indicates a growing sense of panic.
The people saying that the bursting of the housing bubble can be contained are getting fewer and fewer. Those who see it as the beginnings of much wider and deeper economic trouble were once on the fringe, but are now the mainstream. The lack of confidence in mortgage debt is leading to questioning of all sorts of debt, including the hyperdebt of derivatives and hedge funds.
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