The Wall Street Journal begins a three-part series on the downfall of Bear Stearns today: "Months before regulators pressured the firm to sell itself, nervous traders futilely begged Alan Schwartz and his predecessor, James Cayne, to raise more cash and slash Bear Stearns's huge inventory of mortgages and the bonds that backed them. At least six efforts to raise billions of dollars—including selling a stake to leveraged-buyout titan Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.—fizzled as either Bear Stearns or the suitors turned skittish. [WSJ]