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British Prime Minister Gordon Brown during the 2008 Labour Party Conference in Manchester earlier this week. He is in the U.S. today for talks on the economic crisis. - 


Renita Jablonski: British Prime Minister Gordon Brown flies to New York today for the meeting of the United Nations General Assembly. Brown is expected to come under pressure from the U.S. to launch a British bank bailout fund. From London, Stephen Beard reports.

Stephen Beard: The U.S. Treasury has urged governments around the world to launch their own bailouts. And the British Prime Minister is the foreign leader who would seem most likely to respond . Restoring calm to financial markets here is an urgent necessity…especially for Prime Minister Brown. He is fighting for his political survival.

This week, at his annual party conference, he staved off -- for the time being -- a threat to his leadership. He posed as the only man who can lead the country out of economic trouble. But fund manager Justin Urquart-Stewart says it's highly unlikely that Brown will launch a British bailout.

Justin Urquart-Stewart: The British government's finances are in, not unlike like America, not a very good state at the moment with heavy deficits. And he's just come from a party conference where I think you would find it very difficult to actually say he's going to be putting in money to bail out the bankers.

And after all, he says, many big British banks, like Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland, could be eligible for help under the American scheme.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.