This is one of the most tumultuous times on record in the global financial markets.
The financial landscape is going through a period of upheaval with some major firms folding, other operations merging and a limited number of companies in both the Europe and the US, being rescued by governments.
Governments have spent billions of dollars on rescue packages, led by the US with its $700bn rescue package.
BANKS AFFECTED BY THE GLOBAL CRISIS - 2008
Giants of the business world, such as Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch, have crumbled or been bought out.
UK RESCUE PLANS
Much of the current crisis has been caused by the banks' unwillingness to lend to each other, so the UK government has come up with a plan to inject billions of pounds in capital and to guarantee loans in the hope that lending will resume.
The government has also nationalised or part-nationalised some leading UK banks struggling to survive the crisis.
In London confidence in the markets fell with news of Bradford and Bingley's nationalisation.
Banking shares have been the worst hit by the financial turmoil.
FTSE 100 INDEX: 16 September 2008 - present
In Japan the main Nikkei index has been highly volatile, with the index plunging 11% on some days and soaring 14% to others.
NIKKEI 225 INDEX: 16 September 2008 - present
In the United States, the Dow Jones industrial average saw similar swings, posting sharp gains of more than 800 points as well as losses of more than 770 points.
DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE: 16 September 2008 - present
Banks have continued to suffer the steepest falls in share prices.
US bank Merrill Lynch was taken over by Bank of America on 15 September prompting an initial recovery in shares, but they have since dipped again. Fortis shares were falling sharply until a rescue deal was mounted by European banks on 29 September.
The price of metals and oil has also been affected by the financial chaos. After reaching a record high in July of $147 a barrel, the price of oil has fallen and is now back under the $100 mark.
Gold has fluctuated significantly.