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The World From Berlin: 'No More Cause for Feeling Schadenfreude' - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International
THE WORLD FROM BERLIN 'No More Cause for Feeling Schadenfreude'

With the government bailout of Hypo Real Estate Holding Monday, the now-global financial crisis has arrived and reared its ugly head in Germany. Commentators here largely approve of the measure, but they also want more government action -- and less anxiety -- soon.

A trader in Frankfurt watches anxiously as the effects of a government rescue plan of Hypo Real Estate affects the German market. Last Thursday, German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück stood before the German parliament and tried to assure its members that "The United States is the source of the crisis, and it is the focus of the crisis." Four days later, Steinbrück launched the largest financial rescue action in postwar Germany, offering €26.6 billion ($38.3 billion) of a combined €35 billion line of credit to bailout Hypo Real Estate (HRE), the country's second-largest commercial property lender, which had considerable business in the US real estate market.

For Germans and Europeans, the crisis has arrived. On Sunday, the governments of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg took partial control of struggling Benelux bank Fortis. On Monday, Britain seized control of mortgage lender Bradford & Bingley, and Iceland's government took over Glitnir, the country's third-largest bank.

by Fran on Tue Sep 30th, 2008 at 03:27:41 PM EST
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