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U.S. exporters brace for cutbacks in European bank lending

• Washington Post

The European Central Bank’s decision Wednesday to offer loan help to the region’s financial institutions was closely watched by U.S. companies, which have extensive ties to troubled European markets.

Boeing warned that European banks would cut lending to companies that buy planes. Pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb have said cash-strapped European governments that provide health care are cutting what they spend on drugs. And other U.S. exporters to the region, such as almond farmers, medical equipment manufacturers and car makers, must brace for the possibility that a European recession will depress their sales.
 
“If there is a financial meltdown in Europe, the trouble at AIG and Lehman will seem like just a warm-up act for the real crisis,” said economist Ed Yardeni, president of Yardeni Research, formerly with the Federal Reserve.
 

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