Leaders eye finance overhaul as markets tumble

TOKYO, October 16, 2008 (AFP) – Emergency measures to tackle the financial crisis provided little relief for nervous investors Thursday, as stock markets around the world took a battering on fears of a global recession ahead. With most analysts now considering a US recession inevitable, markets looked beyond the current wave of bank rescue packages and towards the possibility of a sustained period of lower demand.

Facing an economic downturn and the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, leaders from the European Union were due to wrap up a summit with a call to overhaul the global financial system.

Following intense discussions on the first day of a two-day summit, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said it was “essential” for the EU, the United States and other countries to work hand-in-hand.

“Europe is indispensable for a global response but a European response alone is not enough,” Barroso said.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said there was unanimous support for a global summit to be held before the end of the year, including emerging powers such as China and India.

“Europe will present an ambitious common vision,” Sarkozy said. “We are really determined to go