THE bleeding stopped on the third day: sterling steadied and stockmarkets perked up on June 28th, after two sessions of carnage (see article). By then Britain’s vote on June 23rd to leave the European Union had taken a heavy toll (see chart). The shares of Lloyds and the Royal Bank of Scotland, Britain’s biggest domestically oriented banks, were down by around 30% and those of Barclays by slightly more. Continental institutions were clobbered too: BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank and Santander all lost 20%-plus and Italy’s beleaguered UniCredit 30%-odd. American banks with big operations in London also suffered, though not as much. Nor was the damage confined to banks: American insurers copped double-digit losses and Invesco, a big asset manager, shed 22%. A merger of the London Stock Exchange and Deutsche Börse, its German rival, looks likely to collapse.

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