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Lehman falls, Merrill sold, AIG tottering. What next?

September 15, 2008

A series of events in United States, including Bank of America agreeing to buy Merrill Lynch for $44 billion and Lehman Brothers' move to file a bankruptcy protection, has shaken up the global financial markets.

About 10 major banks, comprising Citigroup and Credit Suisse Group, reached an agreement to create a $70 billion borrowing facility committing their own money, which could be used to tide over the financial crisis.

Lehman Brothers thought of bankruptcy after it failed to find a buyer and financial media reports said that AIG could survive for only a few days without infusion of the capital.

The giants of financial markets have been shaken up by losses of hundreds of billions of dollars in bad mortgages in the housing markets.

Lehman Brothers began considering bankruptcy after Barclays and Bank of America, the top suitors, walked away apparently following Federal authorities declining to provide financial backup to them, declaring bankruptcy would allow Lehman's subsidiaries to continue to function as the company itself is wound down.

"The stunning series of events culminated a weekend of frantic around-the-clock negotiations, as Wall Street bankers huddled in meetings at the behest of Bush administration officials to try to avoid a downward spiral in the markets stemming from a crisis of confidence," the New York Times said.

Image: The headquarters of the Lehman Brothers investment bank on Sixth Avenue in New York City | Photograph: Michael Nagle/Getty Images

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