Gordon Brown pushes button on Wall St slide

GORDON Brown was fond of claiming that the financial crisis “started in America”, placing the blame for the banking collapse solely on the excesses of Wall Street.

So it was something of a surprise to see him welcomed to the New York Stock Exchange yesterday morning where he joined a list of luminaries – including tennis player Anna Kournikova, actor Liza Minnelli, and children’s cartoon hero SpongeBob SquarePants – who have had the honour of starting the day’s trading by ringing the opening bell.

He was in New York with his wife, Sarah, to promote Global Business Coalition for Education, an organisation that seeks to link corporate leaders with children’s education projects across the world.

The former Prime Minister watched as the Dow Jones Industrial Average opened 35.9 points higher but had left by the time trading finished – with the benchmark index down more than 100 points.