Into the land of the unknown
Sep 30th 2008 | LONDON, NEW YORK, WASHINGTON, DC
Global market turmoil continues after the rejection of the mortgage-rescue plan in America
HOW many votes in Congress will the latest financial upheaval change? That is the calculus underway in Washington, DC, after the House of Representatives defeated the proposed $700 billion mortgage-rescue plan by 228 to 205 on Monday September 29th. Democrats backed it by 140 votes to 95, while Republicans opposed it by 133 to 65.
Bankers had been under no illusions that the tweaked Paulson plan would cure all the financial system’s ills. But most had seen it as a step in the right direction, and had expected it to pass. Its rejection sent stockmarkets into freefall. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down by 7%, and suffered its biggest-ever points loss. Perhaps fittingly in an economy that is in danger of sliding into depression, the only stock among the 500 in the S&P index that finished higher was Campbell’s Soup. The S&P closed 29% below its peak. Reflecting fears that consumer demand will wilt, shares of Apple Computer, creator of the iPhone, fell by 18%. The rout continued in Asia and Europe on Tuesday morning.
银行家们对妥协后的鲍尔森的救市计划会治愈金融系统的疾患不抱幻想。但是他们中的大多数认为该救市计划是往正确的方向前进，并希望它能够得以通过。救市计划遭拒引起股市重挫。道琼斯工业平均指数下跌7%，创历史最大点数跌幅。或许，对一个有着滑向萧条之危险的经济体来说，标准普尔500指数股票里收盘唯一上涨的一只股票是 美国汤品生产商金宝汤（Campbell’s Soup）就是再平常不过的事情了。标准普尔500指数比其历史峰值跌29%收盘。iPhone开发者苹果公司的股票下跌18%,反映出市场对消费者需求 将会萎缩的恐慌。美国股市收盘后,亚洲股市还在下挫，欧洲股市的下挫则延续到周二早晨。
Worse, credit markets, already dysfunctional, were brought close to breaking point. Banks grew even less willing to lend to each other on Monday, and money-market funds fled anything with a whiff of risk. Some corporations are struggling to roll-over commercial paper, short-term debt issued to finance working capital, payroll payments and the like. In an effort to keep money markets from drying up, the Federal Reserve has doubled the size of a vital lending facility for banks, to $300 billion, and expanded agreements with other central banks that funnel dollars to lenders abroad.