September 21st, 2008
11:57 AM GMT
LONDON, England – The party's over, the hangover is about to set in. Friday's relief at news at the U.S. government's bailout plan which sent stock markets soaring is set to be tempered this week by thoughts of what next?
Yes, Henry Paulson rode to the rescue of the world's banks by announcing that he was set to exorcize them of the toxic debts that were dragging them and us towards financial meltdown. BUT - and it's a big but - the devil will be in the detail.
Is Mr. Paulson going to pay the full write down cost of the bad debt when he takes it off their hands - at enormous cost to the U.S. taxpayer? Or will he play hardball for a discount to the market price - leaving banks to take more pain and reluctant to lend to each other and us? In which case, we're back where we started.
And of course Hank's plan still has to get through Congress. In an election year!
One thing is certain though: The banking industry is in the future likely to be subject to much tighter regulation - and tougher public scrutiny. That will impact growth and profits - and their willingness to lend us money. We're all likely to feel a little poorer in the years to come.
So, over five breathless days we escaped global financial meltdown by the skin of our teeth. With reality set to bite, the coming week is going to be a little less stressful, but no less interesting.
About Business 360
CNN International's business anchors and correspondents get to grips with the issues affecting world business, and they want your questions and feedback.