Business, Finance & Economics

Financial crisis on a global level

Wall Street delivered a body-blow to the financial markets all over the globe today. Stock and bond markets reeled following the news that Lehman Brothers, 150 years old and the fourth largest investment bank in the U.S., has filed for bankruptcy. On top of that, another Wall Street icon, Merrill Lynch has been bought at fire sale prices.

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"The World's" Matthew Bell reports on how the troubles on Wall Street reverberate around the globe.

The front page of "The Wall Street Journal" is not known for sensationalism, but its lead story today could hardly have opened with a more ominous sentence: "The American financial system was shaken to its core on Sunday."

Three of the five biggest American investment houses, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and Bear Stearns helped blaze a new trail in global capitalism by taking huge risks, especially in the housing market, and then creating complicated debt instruments that they sold all over the world.

PRI's "The World" is a one-hour, weekday radio news magazine offering a mix of news, features, interviews, and music from around the globe. "The World" is a co-production of the BBC World Service, PRI and WGBH Boston. More "The World."

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