As a darkening economic picture drags money markets down, pressure is piling on the US House of Representatives to follow the Senate and approve President Bush’s four hundred billion euro bail-out package. The House votes on the bill later today having rejected it on Monday. But even if it is passed this time, financial experts fear it is not enough to calm deep-rooted weaknesses in world markets.
Jean-Claude Trichet, the President of the European Central Bank, emphasised how important it was for the bill to be passed, although he said a similar bail-out would not work in Europe.
Meanwhile President Nicolas Sarkozy has called a mini-summit in Paris this weekend for the European members of G8; that is Italy, Germany, Great Britain and France. Top of the agenda, how to respond to the global financial storm. France is feeling the full impact of market uncertainy: a weak labour market and stalled house sales. Experts say it is premature to say France is actually in recession, but it is not far off.
In Switzerland UBS, hardest-hit among European banks, says it is cutting two thousand jobs. It has already lost four thousand in the last year. It also says it is closing its commodities business.