Tamora Vidaillet and Huw Jones
October 12, 2008

European leaders raced against the clock on Sunday to clinch a rescue strategy for banks battered by the worst financial crisis since the 1930s, under intense pressure to throw them a lifeline before world markets reopen.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

At a summit in Paris, the focus fixed firmly on how much state money governments could mobilize to buy into banks if needed, and if they would also underwrite lending between banks, paralyzed for now by fear and distrust.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy told reporters the meeting would come up with an “ambitious and coordinated plan” to tackle the crisis, which spread from the United States more than a year ago but hit fever pitch in recent weeks.

Officials suggested action rather than rhetoric could emerge from a gathering that involved the leaders of Britain and the 15 countries of the euro currency zone as well as European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet.

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