This week has started with some gains on the markets as investors welcomed fresh moves to deal with the worldwide financial crisis.
Investors were helped by news the US government wanted to put in place its $700bn bank bail-out quickly.
This followed fresh moves by European governments to inject extra cash into their own banks.
BBC News readers from around the world share their personal experiences of the financial crisis.
KENJI GRACIA, PHOTO DEVELOPER, TIJUANA, MEXICO
As a border city, Tijuana makes a considerable amount of its trade in U.S. currency, and most of the goods prices are based on it, which increases the prices of many of the products we sell in our photo developing laboratory.
Our most expensive consumables are those we use for medium-format printing like inks, maintenance tanks and 24-inch paper rolls.
I bought many U.S. dollars back at June so I could prepare ahead for any unpredictable economical shock that would happen.
Most profits we made after June were in Mexican Pesos, and now I have to either pool-in the shop's gains to buy more dollars for our monthly consumables, or wait until the dollar lowers its price.
In any case we are at loss, and our customers cannot afford another increase in prices. My father and I are predicting that many shops that are not prepared or that are not up to the financial crisis will close very soon, either this month or January 2009, since many commercial spaces are priced in dollars, and that just adds up to the monthly economic pushovers. If you cannot deal with them, they will trample you all over.
In Mexico we have this curious (if not worldwide common) practice that, whenever the dollar increases its price, many stores increase their prices at well, and when it goes back to lower exchange rates, the high prices remain.
So we either stick up to that or we rather go cross the border and purchase our goods at the U.S. where, even if the dollar lowers or rises, prices remain unchanged.
For now, we all must brace up for the next session of coughs, sneezes and fevers from the U.S. finances that will rattle the world economy.
ANDREY KROUPNIK, ANALYST AT INVESTMENT BANK, MOSCOW
All flows of money have simply dried up. Businesses simply don't want to lend to each other.
The Russian stock market has also been closed more than once after substantial losses.
But it is almost surreal – when you step out of the office ordinary people haven't really been affected yet.
Also, the media hasn't analysed the crisis in details. This is probably a good thing as any greater media coverage of the story could lead to panic and a run on the banks.
Outside the office there is a crane that has not moved for five days as construction feels the impact of the crisis.
MIKE MAZOWIECKI, BUSINESS OWNER, WARSAW, POLAND
My electric cable business is directly affected as 70% of production is exported, of which 80% goes to the EU.
Ever since we joined the EU we have seen 10% growth each year. This growth has now ground to a halt and we have had to cut back on investment in the company.
We haven't seen a run on the banks - banks here are far more conservative about how they lend money.
In some ways Poland hasn't been as badly affected as other countries. We haven't seen a run on the banks. Banks here are far more conservative about how they lend money. But big developers are starting to feel the impact.
This economic problem has not come from the real economy. The problem has come from the so-called investment banks which are now too big to be let to fail – unlike small businesses.
ZAIN AL-THAWADI, BUSINESS MANAGER, MANAMA, BAHRAIN
Bahrain has cut interest rates but it hasn't done anything drastic like in the US and UK.
We haven't seen any price increases in the country, but many people have investments in Europe and the US and have watched them drop in value.
I help my father run his businesses in waterproofing and industrial piping. The current economic climate has had both a negative and positive effects for us.
Although we have seen our investments in the US and Europe drop drastically, we have been able to take advantage of the weakened foreign currency and buy new materials and pay our overseas suppliers.
Everyone here feels that the wave from this crisis has not hit us yet. We are just worried about what is going to happen.
LEONA STORMOEN, RETIRED MEDICAL CLERIC, CALIFORNIA, US
This crisis has hit senior citizens the most and no one is doing any thing to help us.
I've worked hard my entire life and was never in debt. Now because of this crisis my savings have been wiped out and my state pension savings, my 401K, has been slashed by about 40%.
I know a lot of senior citizens who have lost their homes because they can't make the payments and are having to take on part time work.
We never expected to live grand lifestyles but we did expect to be able to make ends meet.
For the first time ever I am struggling to make my house payments and sometimes buy food.
When I was younger I didn't take vacations or buy fancy jewellery because I was saving for when I retired. If I had taken the vacations I would be in the same position as now but at least I would have some good memories.
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