Morgan Stanley’s stock (MS) plunged again yesterday, to its lowest close in 10 years ($16). This is a lower close than the day news leaked about the Fed bailout and likely saved Morgan Stanley from signing an emergency merger with Wachovia (which might have kept it afloat for another week). Nouriel Roubini continues to predict that Morgan is toast, and the firm is fighting a “rumour a minute.”
So legendary CEO John Mack spoke to the troops yesterday. What did he say? Hell, yes, we’re panicking, but it’s time to call our clients and maintain the fiction that we’re calm.
OK, we’re paraphrasing. Here’s the actual second-hand quote, from the WSJ:
“This is a tense time,” the 63-year-old Mr. Mack told employees in London on Wednesday, according to a person who watched the one-hour meeting on an internal Web site. “People are anxious, but you’ve got to stay close to your clients and be the calm voice on the other end of the phone.”