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August 10, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

The confirmed bears among stock market watchers are convinced that the buoyancy in London and on Wall Street was certain to turn sour, the only questions being when, and what would be the trigger: many suggest that it will be a crack in the Tokyo market and yesterday in the wake of Wall Street’s decline, the Nikkei Dow plunged 615 points to 27,554 – equivalent to a 61.5 point fall in the Dow this time last year – which could signal the start of the second leg of the bear market; the worry here in London is that all those innocent Americans who rushed in to buy UK brokers ahead of Big Bang will come to the conclusion that sticking around for the next bull market will simply be throwing good money after bad, and will up sticks back to New York; an indication of American naivete when it comes to foreign financial markets is the fact that this week the mighty CitiCorp effectively threw in the towel on its efforts to get into UK retail banking by summarily informing holders of its Cheque Plus accounts – effectively a current account that pays a small rate of interest, and provides banking facilities but no overdraft that unless they maintained a balance of UKP500 in their account at all times, it would unilaterally close it.

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