News flooding out of the United States of another government bailout of a major financial institution, a widening of that country's massive deficit in its dealings with the rest of the world, and a deeper-than-expected slump in its already depressed housing market, continued to hammer stock markets here and around the globe Wednesday.

The seriousness of the crisis was underscored by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, who issued a statement after markets closed to reassure Canadians that while global financial markets are under "considerable stress ... Canada continues to weather the global financial market turbulence better than many other countries."

"I would emphasize...

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