News round-up: 18 Sep 2008 – foreign press alert

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Today, in the wake of a mammoth banking deal in the UK between Lloyds TSB and HBOS, it is time to look at some of what is happening outside of the U.S. as a result of the credit crisis and market panic. I will principally using Canadian, British, Australian, Irish and South African press sources (since they are all in English).

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The overall view from a global vantage point is that the stress we see in the U.S. markets is clearly being transmitted abroad, most critically to the UK, but also elsewhere. The credit crisis is not a US-only phenomenon, it is a global market problem.

In addition, when it comes to housing and employment, the U.S. is not the only place in a bit of a predicament. Signs of slowdown are in each of the markets covered here.

Banking crisis: Central banks pump billions in to ease the strain – Guardian
Banking crisis: Cyber-squatters cash in – Guardian

U.S. stories
Pressure building on U.S. debt rating: S&P – Globe & Mail (although this report is from Canada, it is about the U.S. debt rating)
Gulf finance ministers back single currency plan – Times Online (his should be seen as a repudiation of the dollar. Very ominous)
Fear stalks Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs as HBOS finalise takeover – Times Online

Britiain
Banking crisis: Thousands of jobs to go as Lloyds TSB takes over HBOS – Guardian
Markets slide again but chancellor says Britain can ride out the crisis – Guardian (Rubbish!)
BoE to extend emergency scheme for inter-bank lending – Telegraph
Recession alert as jobless total leaps and orders tumble – Guardian
The political class can’t face up to the scale of this crisis – Guardian
Global credit system suffers cardiac arrest on U.S. crash – Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph
HBOS – Lloyds TSB merger likely to push up mortgage rates – Telegraph

Canada
Sun Life, CIBC among firms exposed to ailing U.S. lenders – Toronto Star (heavy U.S. exposure in Canada)
Manulife stock falls on U.S. exposure – Toronto Star (Manulife also owns John Hancock)

Ireland
BoI halves dividend to weather the storm as bad debts spiral – Independent Ireland (Irish Banks are about to be slammed by steep falls in the Irish property market)

Australia
BB+ a minus for Babcock and Brown as funding costs blow out – SMH (investment company is getting crushed)
Stocks down sharply on Wall St fears – SMH

Russia
Russia takes emergency measures – Toronto Star
Russian central bank pumps £25bn into financial system – Times Online

South Africa
Gold: Biggest 1-day gain ever – Fin24 (huge flight to quality yesterday included massive move in Treasuries as well)
‘Gold will move back above $900’ – Fin24 (obviously SA lies a high Gold price as they have lots of mining)

Asia
Asian markets tumble to three-year low – Telegraph (Massive slide in Asia: Singapore, Japan, China)

India
Foreign funds exodus hits Indian stockmarket – Guardian

Japan
Japan releases £13bn to stem Asia market panic – Times Online

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