You've got the credit crunch, now buy the Bear
LONDON (Reuters) - It turns out that some memorabilia linked to failed U.S. investment bank Bear Stearns is worth more on eBay these days than rival JPMorgan Chase & Co actually paid for the shares.
One cuddly toy bear with dungaree straps sporting the Bear Stearns logo is being bid at $14.95 (7.58 pounds) in the historical memorabilia category, trumping the $9.35 at which the bank's shares were valued in JPMorgan's $1.4 billion takeover.
On the same day, as two former Bear Stearns hedge fund managers were arrested and indicted on securities fraud charges, Bear Stearns souvenirs up for grabs on eBay included golf balls, a beach towel, playing cards, baseball caps and a badge clip.
Bids for a Bear Stearns stress ball, in "new condition," are currently at 99 U.S. cents, while more adventurous bids for a Bear Stearns Teddy sporting aviator gear stand at $15.99.
Consumers perusing website Cafepress can also buy shirts, going for three times the share value, emblazoned with the words: "This is what I did with my economic stimulus check."
But a tee-shirt advertised on website AnarchyWARE, going for $14, reflects the grim mood in global markets.
"My mortgage company imploded and all I got was this lousy tee-shirt," it reads.
Former Bear Sterns managers, Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin, surrendered to officials and are expected to be arraigned later on Thursday on wire and securities fraud charges.
The collapse of the two funds helped kick off the credit crisis by stoking widespread fears about investments linked to risky subprime mortgage loans.
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