The financial market today

All the headlines today make for pretty dire reading.

The FTSE has fallen below 4,000 for the first time in five years. Alphaville’s Neil Hume explains: “The public are panicking… People are selling because they are worried. They pushed the market down, which makes more people worried, so they sell, and on and on and on.”

Japanese shares have dropped to a 20-year low. And last night, Wall Street experienced it’s biggest crash since 1987.

Chancellor Alistair Darling flew to the US yesterday to attend a G7 discussion on how to tackle the banking crisis.

The assembled finance ministers have been invited to the White House on Saturday to discuss their findings with George W. It’ll be interesting to find out what insight the President brings to the sitch…

Meanwhile Gordon Brown is appealing to governments across the world to follow our lead on the banking crisis. Following the announcement of our bail-out plans earlier in the week, Brown says that it is "only through the boldest of co-ordinated actions across the globe" that families and businesses could be "adequately supported".

BBC business editor Robert Peston sums it all up nicely, “The underlying illness remains in the financial system, as manifested in the record amounts banks were charging each other yesterday for lending to each other for three months.”

Though perhaps “nice" isn’t the word.

And finally, some light relief.

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