At the end of a weekend when nearly all of the world's major bankers and finance ministers gathered in Washington to stanch the global credit crisis, there was no assurance that credit would flow when markets reopen this week.
In an effort to get credit moving, European leaders on Sunday promised to guarantee new loans to banks, which have stopped lending to one another as the crisis has deepened. But they left it up to each nation's government to provide details of how its own banking system would be protected. Australia also announced such guarantees, but there was no similar announcement from the United States, where officials declined to say what action, if any, they would take.
Until the credit crisis intensified after Lehman Brothers failed, banks lent freely to each other. This assured that each bank would have money if needed for any number of business purposes, like lending to their clients.