European Crisis

NEW YORK, September 29, 2008 (AFP) – US lawmakers agreed a 700-billion-dollar bailout of financial groups, but the financial hurricane slammed into European banks and global markets Monday amid doubts over whether the deal would get through Congress. Motomi Hiratsuka, a trader at BNP Paribas, said: “We know that we are most likely to avoid a meltdown in the US financial sector, but what matters now is negative news from new regions.”

The British government nationalised Bradford and Bingley bank, three governments rescued Dutch-Belgian giant Fortis and Belgian-French bank Dexia was the latest in line for attack.

Suspicion and fear swept on despite the revised bailout stitched together by US lawmakers Sunday, the European bank rescues and new central bank infusions. Stock markets slumped amid scepticism about prospects for the US deal and the global economy.

The US House of Representatives was to vote on the rescue package Monday, but it was not certain that it would be passed.

President George W. Bush said the rescue “sends a strong signal to markets around the world that the United States is serious about restoring confidence and stability to our financial system.”

But some conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats steadf