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Panic Surges over U.S., European Economic, Banking Meltdown

Feb. 8, 2016 (EIRNS)—Panic swept through Europe, and Wall Street, today as markets and bank shares plunged to new lows. "Growth Fears Stalk European and Wall Street Stock Indices," the City of London’s daily Financial Times trumpeted, explaining that "worries about the darkening outlook for global growth spreading across global markets." Recession risks "are growing everywhere we look," said one UBS analyst. "Developed and emerging markets are struggling in tandem, leaving no obvious areas to look for growth."

All European markets plummeted sharply: Paris, down 3.2%; Germany’s DAX, 3.30%, London’s FTSE, 2.71%, Milan, 4.69%, and Athens, a whopping 7.8%. Greek banking shares also tanked, by 27.21% for Piraeus Bank, 17.65% for Alpha Bank, and 29.2% for Eurobank. This was the case throughout Europe, with HSBC-London dropping 2.7%, Germany’s Commerzbank, 6.7%, and Deutsche Bank, 4.7%. No one escaped—BNP Paribas, Société Générale, Crédit Agricole, Barclays—all the big names. With good reason, ZeroHedge website referred it to a "European Bank Bloodbath ... Not only is it time to panic, but the panic is ‘contagion’-ing over the sovereign risk market. European banks are in free fall."

The Guardian today notes the evaluation of the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) think tank in London, which reports that leading British experts say that the turmoil on the global stock market threatens to leave a EU2 billion "black hole" in Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s deficit reduction plan, "that could force the chancellor to raise taxes or make fresh cuts in spending in order to hit budget targets.

As of mid-afternoon in New York, the Dow Jones was down by 400 points, CNBC reported. Later in the day, it "rebounded," closing at 178 down. Goldman Sachs, whose shares falled by 6.5% in afternoon trading, was one of the key contributors to the Dow’s fall. "We’re in a very broad-based sell-off. Investors are selling first and asking questions later," said Adam Sarhan, CEO of Sarhan Capital.

Indicating flight-to-safety patterns, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note is now below 175 (1.74%), as people are getting out of all other assets.