US and UK plan global action on financial crisis; shares plunge worldwide–again; Bangkok gripped by protests; Bomb kills Iraqi MP; and more
Top of the Agenda: Panic Grips Markets
Yesterday's rapid sell-off in New York, which dragged the Dow Jones Industrial Average down more than 7 percent in late trading, kicked off a wave of global selling today that some analysts termed a full-fledged panic. Japan's Nikkei index plunged nearly 10 percent, as did London's FTSE index at market open, before making a slight recovery to losses of around 8 percent (FT). In Asia, markets in Hong Kong, South Korea, India Thailand, Indonesia, Australia were among those that suffered major losses (AP). Shares also fell sharply across Europe, with Germany and France each showing early losses over 7 percent. Russia, Indonesia, Iceland, Austria, and Thailand all halted trading (Bloomberg) after steep losses.
The New York Times reports the United States and Britain appear to be converging on a blueprint for coordinating global action to stem the slide. The article says the idea that governments should inject money into banks in return for partial ownership and guarantees of loan repayment will be closely scrutinized when IMF finance ministers meet on Saturday. The Wall Street Journal reports the U.S. Treasury has begun a process of interviewing financial executives to gauge interest in new programs aimed at injecting capital into banks.
In today's Washington Post, CFR's Sebastian Mallaby writes that the week's silver lining is that "market panic has now overshot so much that there's at least a chance that it will subside."
Pacific Rim: Thai Protest Leaders Surrender
The leaders of mass political protests that have gripped Bangkok for most of the week surrendered to police (Bangkok Post) after Thai authorities agreed to drop the most serious charges against them.
CHINA: Xinhua reports China is changing the rules under which Chinese firms are allowed to refinance loans to try to encourage long-term investments.
Bomb in Baghdad kills Iraqi MP loyal to Sadr.
Pakistan military-parliament talks end week with no consensus; will resume Monday
This is an excerpt of the CFR.org Daily News Brief. The full version is available on CFR.org.