Friday, October 03, 2008

French PM says World "On Edge of Abyss"

Reuters Reports

French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said the world stood on the "edge of the abyss," gripped by a global financial crisis now threatening industry, trade and jobs worldwide.

The latest upheaval in the U.S. banking industry came just four days after Citigroup Inc said it would buy Wachovia, and Wells Fargo said it would complete the transaction without government help. U.S. stock index futures rose after the announcement.

Around the world, calls came for the House to pass the bailout bill, which would allow the Treasury to buy illiquid debt from U.S. banks to stem a spreading crisis.

French Prime Minister Francois Fillon, whose country is hosting an emergency summit with Italian, British and German leaders on Saturday, said only collective action could solve the financial crisis. He said he would not rule out any solution to stop any bank failing.

"The world is on the edge of the abyss because of an irresponsible system," Fillon said, alluding to widespread anger over past lax regulation of financial markets and excessive lending.

Fillon said President Nicolas Sarkozy would propose at the emergency meeting measures to unfreeze credit and coordinate economic and monetary strategies.

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