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European Markets Rocked for Second Day


Major European stock indexes dropped for a second day amid worries about the fallout of the Lehman Brothers investment bank collapse in the United States. For VOA, Tom Rivers in London reports.

The front pages in London speak of the fears average citizens are feeling as this worldwide financial crisis deepens.

The Guardian's headline cries out, "Nightmare on Wall Street". Spread across The Independent, a single word, "Crash!" The Daily Mail asks, "How Much Worse Will It Get?" And the Daily Express speculates on the ultimate cost of the Lehman collapse with the headline, "500,000 Will Lose Jobs in Britain".

Trying to counter this negative mood, Britain's Treasury Secretary Alistair Darling says everything is being done to lessen the impact.

"Uncertainly is affecting all countries in the world but I think on the positive side, governments, central banks and regulators have made it clear that we will do everything that we possibly can to maintain stability in the financial system," he said.

The European markets were all in a gloomy mood, but not quite as negative as they were on Monday.

European central banks pumped yet more billions in short-term credit into the markets Tuesday in an effort to raise liquidity in the wake of the Lehman collapse.

But there is still more pain to come. British Treasury Committee chairman John McFall says if anything, the credit crunch has now gotten even tighter.

"As a result of the weekend's excesses, you will find probably that credit is going to be even harder to get," he said."So, it does have an impact on the person on the street and people have got to realize that.

Meanwhile, Barclay's Bank here has confirmed it is interested in acquiring some assets of Lehman Brothers. Talks are said to be ongoing.