Black Friday: Run on the System

Stock markets across the world are in a state of hysteria. The tidal wave of sell-offs, which began when Henry Paulson announced the Bush administration’s $700 billion bailout plan for the sinking banking system, has swelled into a global tsunami racing round the globe.

Shares fell sharply across Europe and Asia for the fifth straight day following a 679 drop on the Dow Jones.  Nearly $900 billion was wiped off the value of U.S. equities in just one trading day. The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, the “fear index”, soared to a record 64.

Credit markets remain frozen. Libor, the London interbank offered rate, nudged up slightly on Thursday night, signaling even greater resistance to lending between the banks. Until there is relief in the credit markets, stocks will continue to slide. But trust has vanished. The 50 basis points rate cut that was coordinated with foreign central banks has had no effect. The market is being driven by fear and pessimism.

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Brown and Darling commit £500 billion for bank bailout

Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling set out a radical £500 billion package today to restore confidence in the UK banking sector and break the crippling logjam in credit markets.

The three-part package includes committing up to £50 billion of taxpayer funds for a partial nationalisation of stricken banks, met from increased public borrowing and with political strings attached that would include reining in executive pay.

In addition, the Bank of England will pump at least £200 billion into the money markets under its existing Special Liquidity Scheme. The Government is also making a further £250 billion available for banks over the next three years to guarantee medium-term debt to help restore confidence and get banks lending to each other again.

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Roubini: USA transforming into USSRA


Nouriel Roubini

An economic analyst says by buying out investment giants, the USA had transformed into the USSRA (the United Socialist State Republic of America).

“This transformation of the USA into a country where there is socialism for the rich, the well connected and Wall Street (i.e. where profits are privatized and losses are socialized) continues today with the nationalization of AIG,” Nouriel Roubini said.

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Russian stock markets closed until Friday

Medvedev calls for more measures

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia closed its stock exchanges for a second day Thursday as President Dmitry Medvedev pledged a 500 billion ruble ($20 billion) injection into financial markets to stem a dizzying plummet in share prices — and quash fears of a repeat of the country’s 1998 financial collapse.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev reiterated that the government — which sits on the world’s third-largest foreign reserves — is in a strong position to handle the crisis, which threatens to undermine an eight-year economic success story and a resurgence in national pride.

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