A long day for the global economy

From Shanghai to New York to Tokyo: Where the selling will stop, nobody knows.

Published February 28, 2007 1:12AM (EST)

In my last post I wrote that traders in New York would have a sleepless night tonight. But they don't have to wait for morning if they're looking for more turmoil in the markets. Two hours after the Tokyo Stock Exchange opened, as of about 5 p.m. PST, the Nikkei 225 index had fallen 588 points, or about 3.25 percent of its value.

Those numbers may well spike up and down as the trading day continues: The Nikkei first fell 700 points before rebounding a bit. But a day that begins with a stock market crash in Shanghai, continues with an implosion in New York and then finishes with panic selling in Tokyo is not your ordinary day. If a defining characteristic of the global economy is technologically mediated financial integration, then what we are currently witnessing could be a state-of-the-art global market meltdown.

By Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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