As markets opened and closed across the world from Monday into Tuesday the falling indices was evidence of the ebbing confidence of investors.

Some £2.3 trillion has been wiped off of the wealth of investors over the last week. Britain’s Blue-Chip index suffered a £46 billion loss in yesterday’s session as the FTSE dropped to below 5,100 and the US Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 600 points in its largest one day fall since December 2008.

"The current situation could be seen as a fast, complete and unexpected loss of confidence that has been building up over the past few weeks," said BNP Paribas in a note as the Asian stock markets plunged "Given that the global economic recovery remains fragile, this fast disappearance of confidence is worrying, which puts us back in a vicious circle where the market drop feeds pessimism."

But the money taken out of equities and commodities has to go somewhere and flight to safety has been the name of the game with gold hitting a record high.

The Swiss franc and the Japanese yen also both strengthened even though both countries central banks had intervened on the money markets over the last week selling off their currencies to weaken them.

Even the IS dollar regained a little of its composure as money drained from the markets looking for somewhere to go.

As the markets opened in London on Tuesday the FTSE managed to climb to 5,116 but has the rest of the day to fight through.

President Obama at the centre of the storm sparked by Standard & Poor’s downgrade of US debt on Friday said that the US’s debt problems were solvable and that the reforms to tax and social services “…doesn’t require any radical steps. What it does require is common sense and compromise,”

But are the markets going to listen?

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