Soros warns turmoil could spread

INTERNATIONAL FINANCIER George Soros said yesterday there was "general panic' in Latin American markets and that a financial collapse in Brazil could spread to Argentina.

"The flight of capital has now spread to Brazil and if Brazil goes, Argentina will be endangered. There is general panic in Latin America," Mr Soros said in prepared testimony to the House Committee on Banking and Financial Services. Mr Soros warned legislators that the US economy could not remain isolated from global financial turmoil and urged Congress to approve $18bn in extra funding for the International Monetary Fund.

"So far our stock market has escaped relatively unscathed and our economy has actually benefited from the global crises, but make no mistake, unless Congress is willing to support the IMF, the disintegration of the global capitalist system will hurt our financial markets, and our economy as well, because we are at the centre of that system," he said.