Bear Stearns staff auction off teddies, T-shirts, memorabilia

WASHINGTON, March 21, 2008 (AFP) – Bear Stearns’ go-getting investment bankers used to chase million-dollar deals, but staff at the now hard up Wall Street bank have resorted to auctioning off Bear Stearns-branded memorabilia to raise funds. Bear Stearns workers have put a range of mementos up for sale online at eBay in recent days following the rapid demise of one of America’s largest investment banks which fell victim to a credit crunch sweeping the financial markets.

“Be the first to get your paws on classic Bear Stearns memorabilia,” touts the description for one of several stuffed toy bears on sale at a bargain 5.50 dollars.

“Do not delay — bail a Bear out today!” the ad urges, adding that the first bear purchased comes with a free New York skyscraper worth around one billion dollars, depending on availability.

Bear Stearns agreed to sell itself last Sunday to JPMorgan Chase for a paltry 236 million dollars, after rival banks stopped trading with it, in a deal that shocked many Wall Street veterans.

The takeover deal included Bear Stearns’ corporate headquarters which analysts believe is worth about one billion dollars.

Many of the bank’s 14,000 staff are expected to lose their jobs as a result of its downfall,