Word Up

The crisis spreads and deepens:

The global credit crunch deepened in Europe as government leaders pledged to bail out troubled banks and protect depositors.

BNP Paribas SA will take control of Fortis’s units in Belgium and Luxembourg after government efforts to ensure the company’s stability failed, while Germany’s government and financial institutions agreed on a 50 billion euro ($68 billion) rescue package for Hypo Real Estate Holding AG. U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling said Britain is “ready to do whatever it takes” to help its banks.

$68 billion? Pikers!