Who's Next on the Financial Chopping Block?

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WASHINGTON - World markets plunged again today after the worst day on Wall Street since the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Investors are worried who will be the next victim of the credit crisis and they're wondering just how long it will last.

Click play for more from financial expert Dennis Gartman, author of The Gartman Letter, and Robin Tull of the Tull Financial Group.

Meanwhile, nervous investors are waiting to see what's next for "the Street."

As Wall Street goes, so goes the world's markets. With several of America's financial giants either gone or teetering on the brink, stock markets from Asia to Europe are feeling the strain.

Markets took a dive Tuesday in Hong Kong, Japan and Britain -- while countries like Australia and India flooded money markets with cash. All want to avoid the troubles that have stunned Wall Street.

"It's obviously an indication that there's been a meaningful loss of investor confidence and that's very, very troubling," said Hugh Johnson, a market analyst with Johnson Illington Advisors.

The demise of Lehman Brothers and buyout of Merrill Lynch sent shockwaves among investors Monday.

News that leading companies like AIG and Washington Mutual were also struggling added to the sense of uncertainty -- with investors even fleeing stable companies like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.

The chaos caused the Dow to plunge 504 points -- the sixth worst point drop ever.

"We're working through a difficult period in our financial markets right now as we work off some of the past excesses," Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said.

Those past excesses include irresponsible risks taken by companies in the mortgage and credit markets. As a result, Wall Street has to dig itself out of hole that seems to get bigger by the day.

"In the short run, adjustments in the financial markets can be painful. In the long run, I am confident that our capital markets are flexible and resilient, and can deal with these adjustments," President Bush said.

The world's largest insurance company -- AIG -- may be next on the chopping block. But don't look for the federal government to bail the company out.

After stepping in on behalf of Bear Stearns Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the government made it clear it wouldn't save Lehman Brothers or Merrill - and it's now leaving Wall Street to clean up its own mess.

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Erick Stakelbeck

Erick Stakelbeck

CBN News Reporter

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