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The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell below its lowest close since 1997 on concerns that banks could be nationalized, marking the possible end of government-led bailouts.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Economic Recovery Board, Paul Volcker, called the current recession "an exceptional crisis," while speaking at Columbia University Friday. He did add that "capitalism will survive" the current environment.
Citigroup and Bank of America, which have received a total of more than $90 billion in federal aid, fell more than 32%. The Dow fell 204.86 points, or 2.7%, to 7,261.09.
As investors fled to safety, gold topped $1,000 an ounce and Treasuries rose.