I'm going to go "out on a limb" here and make a small prediction. If it's right, I will take small consolation in that fact. If it's wrong.... why, I'll just delete it tomorrow. :)
Here it is:
I think the Democrats and Republicans have assessed the situation from a political point of view and they have both come to the decision that "no deal" will help them win the election, regardless of the outcome. If there is no deal and there is no crash, then the Republicans have stood firm on socialism and the Democrats have stood firm on no bailout for the rich. If there IS a crash, then the Democrats think the Republicans will be blamed, and the Republicans think that no one will trust the Democrats in a time of real crisis. So I think there will be no deal.
Both parties have judged this to be better than if there was a deal and it failed before the election. So that is 3:1 odds against a bailout tomorrow!
The other player is the PPT, Paulson, Bernanke and the big investment banks. Even if they have some ammunition left, I think they are at the point right now where they will say, "fuck it... let 'em see what a crash feels like." This will be their Hail Mary Pass for the bailout to go through next week. Dow futures are down right now, which says that the PPT is getting some much needed sleep.
WAMU folded today. On a Thursday no less, when banks are supposed to go down on Fridays so as not to affect the markets. Yesterday, GM unexpectedly closed two dealerships here in Las Vegas as well as several others in other cities, hoping to get a piece of the taxpayer handout. So the FDIC (via WAMU) and GM (another big player) are positioning themselves in weakness while the taxpayer bailout is still "up in the air" so to speak.
I think this is all a play for taxpayer dollars. I think we will see a crash in the markets tomorrow. How big? I don't know. Without shortsellers to slow the decline, and without the PPT buying shitty stocks, it has the potential to be pretty dramatic. Gold should skyrocket tomorrow. Perhaps above $1,000 per ounce.
If this comes true, then it will likely continue on Monday. Beyond that I cannot predict. Only God knows what knee jerk pill our saviors in Congress will swallow at that point. But most likely, it will be exactly the wrong thing.