Fallout: The Financial Crisis

Eastern European banks face turmoil

Stephen Beard Feb 18, 2009
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Fallout: The Financial Crisis

Eastern European banks face turmoil

Stephen Beard Feb 18, 2009
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TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: European bank shares are being hit again because of the economic turmoil happening in Eastern Europe. From London, Stephen Beard has that.


Stephen Beard: Some analysts warn that Eastern Europe is on the brink of economic collapse, like the Asian meltdown a decade ago.

During the recent boom in Europe, western banks poured more than a trillion dollars into the eastern part of the continent. But now strapped for cash, they’re pulling out. Foreign bank lending has slowed to a trickle. East European currencies are sliding fast. The Hungarian forint and the Polish zloty have slumped. The solvency of some governments is in question.

Graham Mather is with the European Policy Forum:

Graham Mather: Markets are undoubtedly now concerned that some governments aren’t going to be able to pay their debts. And that is going to have real economic effects in Eastern Europe.

Every East European economy is expected to shrink this year, some by more than 10 percent. As a result, some of West Europe’s biggest banks could face further heavy losses.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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