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Ballmer on banking crisis: No one is safe

Yeah, cheers Steve

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Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer warned today that no company is safe from the financial crisis.

We all knew that of course, but when an ego the size of Ballmer's decides to gulp you know we're really in trouble.

Reuters reports that Ballmer told a news conference in Norway: "I think one has to anticipate that no company is immune to these issues."

"Financial issues are going to affect both business spending and consumer spending, and particularly... spending by the financial services industry."

Ballmer said the impact would be felt in Europe as well as the US. He said: "I have to believe that some of the issues also face the European banks and I trust that the European Central Bank will be as intelligent as it needs to be around that."

He said he hoped the US would have some resolution to the issues, at least in Congress, by the end of the week.

George W Bush said today that the US economy was at a "critical moment". He said he hoped to get an aid package through Congress later this week, and that failure to agree action would have "painful and lasting" consequences.

The FTSE 100 in London is up very slightly today, but exchanges in France and Germany are down again.

Prime minister Gordon Brown is meeting with Bank of England governor Mervyn King and Chancellor Alistair Darling to discuss the crisis.

In the meantime, the US Congress is on holiday.®

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