Europe Scrambles to Save Banks

Governments rescue troubled institutions, pledge to back deposits
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Oct 6, 2008 6:31 AM CDT
European leaders are seen at an emergency financial summit at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Saturday, Oct. 4, 2008.    (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)
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(Newser) – Barely a day after rejecting the need for a massive unified rescue plan, European leaders are wading into two substantial bailouts and vowing to save banks, Bloomberg reports. France’s BNP Paribas will take over Fortis in Belgium and Luxembourg, while Germany’s government and banks bail out Hypo Real Estate with a $68 billion rescue package. Meanwhile, Alistair Darling says the UK will do whatever is necessary to aid its banks.

This is Europe’s “first real financial crisis, and it’s not just any crisis. It’s a big one,” said an analyst. Germany has taken steps to guarantee all private savings accounts, the New York Times notes, while France, Italy, and Ireland have pledged to protect depositors’ funds. Meanwhile, Asian markets sank on global economic woes. “Perhaps it's time for a more coordinated approach globally,” said one economist.