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Lehman Brothers is bankrupt; Merrill Lynch will be bought by the Bank of America.  With stocks plunging, Wall Street is watching to see what will happen next. Bush, Obama, McCain, Biden and Palin are all talking about limiting damage and preventing another financial catastrophe. Also, Hurricane Ike has produced the largest rescue operation in the history of Texas.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, where in this afternoon's trading the Dow fell over 500 points. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The Way to Win

John Harris and Mark Halperin

Main Topic Markets Slide as Wall Street Staggers 39 MIN, 26 SEC

The brokerage firm Bear Stearns got a bailout earlier this year.  The federal government also agreed to prop up Fannie Mae and Freddie Mack.  But over the weekend, Treasury Secretary Paulson drew the line when it came to Lehman Brothers, which has now declared bankruptcy.  Merrill Lynch has sold itself off. AIG, America's biggest insurance company, could be next. Stock prices are plunging. From Wall Street to Washington to the presidential campaign trail there is talk of America's worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. President Bush says he's working to minimize the disruption. McCain and Palin promise reform. Obama and Biden insist it's time to change parties. We look at the reshaping of both the financial world order and the race for the White House.   

Peter McKay, Markets Reporter, Wall Street Journal
Barry Ritholtz, Fusion IQ (@ritholtz)
Roy Smith, Markets Reporter, Wall Street Journal
John Harris, Politico (@HarrisPolitico)
John Feehery, Feehery Group (@JohnFeehery)
Tad Devine, Democratic Strategist, Devine Mulvey

Reporter's Notebook Galveston and Houston Try to Pick Up the Pieces 9 MIN, 29 SEC

Hurricane Ike has passed over Texas, but the storm is hardly over with 30 people now dead in eight states along the Gulf Coast and in the Midwest. It's been more than 48 hours since Ike struck Houston and Galveston. Nobody knows how many people are missing, and it may be weeks before many are allowed to return to what's left of their homes. We get an update from Terri Langford of the Houston Chronicle and Dave Levinthal of the Dallas Morning News.

Terri Langford, Reporter, Houston Chronicle
Dave Levinthal, Center for Public Integrity (@davelevinthal)

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