Halifax Building Society loses third of its value in 48 hours.
The High Street Crash: Billions wiped off value of big banks
By Clinton Manning Business Editor 17/09/2008
High street banks were sucked into the financial quagmire yesterday as the fallout from the Lehman Brothers collapse sent their shares plummeting for a second day. Royal Bank of Scotland, owner of NatWest, had a fall of around 10 per cent. And Barclays, which had said it was in talks to take over some of Lehman’s US operations, also saw shares tumble although they later staged a recovery to end 2.5 per cent down.
But the biggest casualty was HBOS – the parent company of Halifax, Britain’s biggest mortgage lender. Its shares plunged almost 22 per cent yesterday following a 17 per cent drop on Monday. Astonishingly, that means the bank is worth £5billion less than it was two days ago.
The news was not much better for the rest of the firms on the FTSE 100 – the index of our top 100 companies. As panicking investors unloaded shares the total value of the Footsie fell by 3.4 per cent – on top of a plunge of almost four per cent on Monday. It means that in two days a total of £93billion has been wiped off the value of the UK’s leading shares – the Footsie’s worst result since July 2002.
Troubled insurance giant AIG, sponsors of Manchester United, plunged for a second day on Wall Street on growing fears that it might file for bankruptcy. Meanwhile, banking giant Goldman Sachs fuelled the sense of panic by revealing its profits had slumped 70 per cent in the past three months.
One Wall Street expert said: “People were hoping for some good news in a sea of gloom but they didn’t get it.”
There was a similar gloom worldwide as financial markets in Europe, Australia, Japan, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea were all battered by the knock on from Tuesday’s announcement that Lehman Brothers had gone bust.
The “Daily Express” commented on its front page today (17th September) that huge fortunes have been made by bankers on the back of reckless gambles with the life savings of small inventors. As I have been trying to say in this website and blog, it’s corruption and greed, selfishness and the rejection of the biblical standards of behaviour that have brought us to the brink of economic collapse.
If you want to avoid going down with the ship, now is the time to get your spiritual and financial life in order