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7 Oct, 2008 08:12

Market plunge drives traders to despair

Russia's stock markets have opened slightly up following their suspension on Tuesday morning. But while they are in for another tough day, Wall Street has seen the Dow Jones sink to its lowest point in years.

They continued to tumble despite predictions they would rise off the back of emergency measures in Washington and Europe.

Aiming to tackle the tough situation in the Russian market, President Dmitry Medvedev has announced that 950 billion roubles (about $US 36 billion) will be given to key banks for five years. He has ordered amendments to be made in laws which regulate rules of recovering debts.

The Dow Jones: finding a scapegoat

The Dow Jones dipped by 800 points below the 10,000 mark, and despite rallying slightly towards closing, it’s a gloomy day at the New York Stock Exchange. Traders abandoned the NYSE temple visually defeated – ties undone, they ran from the press crews staked outside.

The panic of the last few weeks has taken away any feeling of certainty even amongst colleagues. Even the 700-billion dollar bailout plan did not seem to give Wall Street the green light it had been hoping for.

Amidst the chaos, some tried to boost pubic morale. But the backdrop is by this point too big to be ignored.

Average Americans accuse the financial circles of “criminal negligence”. This is a feeling resonating across the States – from downtown New York to the political pastures of Washington DC.

But while officials look for scapegoats in gilded skyscrapers, and American idols such as American Express and Citigroup take staggering daily blows, for the public it is all about the numbers.

Practical jokers outside Wall Street drink champagne and wave wads of fake dollars: “Thank you taxpayers, we got it,” they shout. “This is the bailout, we got the money from the federal government”.

This is what the CEOs might be feeling about it. Despite theatrics, these people brought the public's fear into the daylight. And as the so-called Mr Monopolys and casino capitalists were leaving for home, only the tourists were not thinking of asking them what exactly they are driving for. 

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