The Bear Stearns liquidity crisis may very well go down as the beginning of the "big whoosh" that must happen before anybody can see the light of day in this financial crisis.
One thing that gets lost in the noise about Bear Stearns, and why a bailout is critical, is that it’s a broker-dealer for many big hedge funds and wealthy individuals.
If the hedge funds and rich folk get caught here without a net, you can imagine a possible domino effect throughout the brokerage and banking industries as people start pulling out cash and heading for safer pastures, such as trust companies.
And to think, just two days ago S&P tried to suggest that the end of the subprime mess was in sight. Hate to break the news to them: The subprime slime was just the tip-o-the-rapidly melting iceberg.