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"Black Friday" and Silver Linings

Another "Black Friday"... HBOS debts will exceed £8bn -- up £3.2bn since September alone. The US senate's rejection of a $14bn bail-out for Detroit's "Big Three" car-makers will cause plenty of alarm on this side of the Atlantic -- compounding other cutbacks in production days at the BMW-owned Mini plant and Nissan.

There are no takers for Woolworths Group's wholesale book and DVD division, EUK, and administrators are now calling in debts from other retailers such as Zavvi (previously Virgin Megastores). The dominoes could keep falling.

So it's good to know that there are pockets of good news (for the brave investor). Sterling's slide may or may not have an upside for exporters whose revenues derive from overseas markets -- it depends on their economic resilience.

Emerging economies now represent an "absolute bargain", says Citywire. Says Hexam Capital's Bryan Collings: "The crisis is a developed markets problem not an emerging markets one. Although they will be affected by slowing demand from developed economies, the long-term fundamentals are relatively unscathed and emerging markets could be the engine behind more than 100 per cent of global growth next year."

And spread-betting firms are seeing no slowdown in business as private investors try to turn volatility to their advantage. Well, if life hands you lemons...

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