Friday, 23 September 2011

Global Markets Buckle on Fears of New Financial Meltdown

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Asian and European stocks spiral downward. The Dow Jones industrial average plunges almost 400 points toward its worst week since the depths of Wall Street's collapse in 2008.

The strain of deteriorating economic conditions and the failure of governments to contain the damage are raising fears that a new financial market meltdown may be unavoidable.

The grim mood was evident worldwide as a cascade of selling in stocks and commodities was triggered by concerns that policymakers lack the firepower and political consensus to revive their faltering economies.

The Federal Reserve's latest move to push interest rates lower failed to assuage investors, who appear to be giving in to anxieties about a double-dip recession.

Global markets buckled Thursday. Asian and European stocks spiraled downward and pulled the Dow Jones industrial average down almost 400 points toward its worst week since the depths of Wall Street's meltdown in 2008. Even gold wasn't a safe place to turn.

Meanwhile, interest rates on U.S. Treasury bonds fell to lows not seen since the 1940s as investors rushed to lock in yields.

"The fear is that this is another event of the magnitude of 2008," said John Bollinger, head of Bollinger Capital Management in Manhattan Beach. "This is entirely being driven by fear." » | Walter Hamilton, Tom Petruno and Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times | Friday, September 23, 2011